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Disability The culture, prejudices and environment have a great bearing on the meaning of such words, if the word

is meant to describe an aspect of human conditions. The words handicapped, disabled, retarded have various meanings and carry the potential for prejudicial stereotypes, discrimination and abuse. The most acceptable definition of disability is provided in UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRP) which states that persons with disabilities include those who have long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. The major cause for disabilities is deficiencies in the management of the environment in which we live. Though constitution of India guarantees equality of all citizens, persons with disabilities have been, in reality, facing stigma, discrimination and neglect due to sociopsychological and cultural reasons. The persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, protection of Rights and Full participation) Act1995 and UNCRPD have legislated on making education, employment, access to buildings, transport and information systems available to persons with disabilities. There are nearly 2crore persons having disabilities in India includes persons with visual, hearing, speech, loco motor, intellectual disabilities and multiple disabled. Disability not only affects individual and family but also society and the nation. Non- inclusion of persons with disabilities in the developmental process has several implications, as it may result in loss of income and additional cost to the person with disability, for their care providers and other family. This results in loss of education and social exclusion to them and their family. Our constitution ensures equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all citizens of the country including persons with disabilities without discrimination, which implies an inclusive society for all. Article 14 of the constitution of India relating right to work, education and to public assistance in certain cases, states that the state shall within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want. Disability also appears in the 11th and 12th schedules (pertaining to panchayats and municipalities) of the constitution in this manner. 11th schedule: social welfare, including welfare of the handicapped and mentally retarded, and 12th schedule: safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and mentally retarded. In this sector, there are four legislations namely, Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992, persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full participation) Act, 1995; National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral palsy. These three are dealt in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 and Mental Health Act, 1997 is dealt in the Ministry of Health and Family welfare. For the empowerment of persons with disabilities, the Department of Disability Affairs has been created in May 2012 under the ministry of social justice and empowerment to give greater emphasis on their policy issues and implementation. The National Policy for persons with Disabilities 2006 seeks to create an environment that provides those equal opportunities, protection of their rights and full participation in society. The policies are based on principles of equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals that are enshrined in the constitution.

Central Government schemes1) Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) - it envisages financial assistance to NGOs for providing education, vocational training and rehabilitation of PwDs. 2) Scheme of Assistance to Disabled persons for Purchase/ Fitting of Aids/Appliances (ADIP Scheme)- it provides various implementing agencies(NGOs/National Institutes/DDRCs/ALIMCO/State Handicapped Development Corporations/other local bodies) for purchase and assistance devices for the physical rehabilitation of PwDs. 3) Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act(SIPDA)- it provides to state governments , organizations of central/ state governments, including autonomous bodies and universities, for creating barrier free access to their buildings; making websites accessible, and for early detection and diagnosis of hearing impaired. 4) Scheme of Incentive to Employers in the Private Sector for Providing Employment to Persons with Disabilities provides employers. 5) National Scholarship schemes under National Fund as well as Trust Fund, provide financial assistance to students to pursue post-matriculation, professional or technical courses and various skill development courses for their empowerment. 6) The scheme, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship has been introduced to enable students with disabilities to pursue M.Phil/PhD courses. Governments policy on job reservation in Government sector: 1) 3 percent of the vacancies in case of direct recruitment in all groups posts shall be reserved for PwDs of which 1 percent each shall be reserved for persons suffering from a) blindness or low vision b) hearing impairment and c) locomotors disability or cerebral palsy in the posts identified for each disability 2) 3 percent of vacancies in case of promotion to Group D, and Group C posts in which the element of direct recruitment, if any, does not exceed 75%, shall be reserved for persons with Disabilities of which 1 percent shall be reserved for persons suffering from a) blindness or low vision b) hearing impairment, and c) loco motor disability or cerebral palsy in the posts identified for each disability. Cross-disability movement in India: In 1993, with the creation of Disable Rights Group (DRG), Indias first cross-disability advocacy organisation, that the idea of all rights of all people with disabilities gained currency. Five Year Plans1) 10th Five Year Plan- It focused on effective implementation of various provisions of legislation and National Policy for Persons with Disabilities. 2) 11th Five Year Plan- It aimed at inclusive growth. The plan mandated a firm approach to main stream disability: 1) delineate clear-cut responsibilities between the concerned Ministries/Departments; 2)concerned Ministries/Departments to formulate detailed rules and guidelines within six months of approval of Eleventh plan; 3) ensure that each concerned Ministry/Department shall reserve not less than 3 percent of their annual outlay for the benefit of disabled persons as enjoined in the PwDs Act 1995; 4) Set up monitoring mechanisms at various levels and develop a review system so that its progress can be monitored on a regular and continuing basis. 3) 12th Five Year Plan- main strategy is service delivery and generation of public awareness about disability rights.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)CRPD is the first human rights treaty of 21st century. CRPD underlined the need to look at the human rights of people with disabilities who comprise some of poorest and most vulnerable section of society. It established disability as a cross cutting human rights issue. The Government ratified the Convention on October 1, 2007. India became the 7th country in the world to ratify CRPD. There are four categories of developmental disability 1) Autism- it is complex condition that appears during the first three years of life. It has been classified as Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), it meant to indicate severe and interrelated impairment in several areas of development. 2) Cerebral Palsy (CP)- it means damaging to maturing brain. 3) Mental Retardation (MR)- it is a delay, or slowness, in a childs mental development 4) Multiple Disabilities (MD)- it means combination of two or more disabilities defined in clause (i) of section 2 of PwDs Act 1995. The disabilities defined there are blindness, low vision, leprosy cured, hearing impairment, mental retardation, mental illness. The Ministry of health through its flagship programme Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram is now setting up massive operations for screening and early intervention. Education- India has the second largest education system in the world, with more than 200 million school aged students. While national average of enrolment in schools is over 90 percent, less than 5 percent of children with disabilities are enrolled in schools. Initiatives and schemes of inclusive education: 1) The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan- it is programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It has set goal of providing 8years of elementary education for all children including children with disabilities in the age group of 6-14 years. 2) Integrated Education for Disabled Children- children with disability in the age group of 4 14 years are provided free education. Although government is the primary stakeholder, a number of NGOs and private institutions are playing major role in the promotion of inclusive education like Amar Jyoti School in Delhi and Gwalior Primary goals of inclusive education a) To bring out best in the child without alienating him. b) To assist child in developing basic skills to cope with day to day challenge. c) To develop skills that will enable the child to become self reliant. d) To help the child develop a desirable attitude towards society. Portrayal of Disability in Literature and CinemaOur mythology and puranas also contain examples of differently-abled individuals like Dhristrashtra, Manthara, Ashtaavakra etc. Films too have given space to representation of disability in various artistic forms. Barfi, a film by Anurag Basu became the Official entry of India for Oscars. Sanjeev Kumar was appreciated for playing the disabled in the legendary film Sholay although we do know that his disability was incidental rather than being from birth. In the film Koi Mil Gaya (2003) Hrithik Roshan played a mentally challenged whose mental age was that of eight year child although his biological age was twenty years. The Oscar winning movie The Kings Speech is classic example of a beautiful portrayal of disability. Tare Zameen Par (2007) is a sensitive movie based on deep insight into the grim based realities of our day-to-day life. And many more movies dwelling upon disabilities.

by M.Tejaswi