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June 19, 2018

Essay - Rights of the Differently Abled Persons

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Rights of the Differently Abled Persons

  • What is disability ?
  • The Disability Discrimination Act, -17
  • The census report the number of disabled people.
  • Various facilities given by the Indian Disability Act of 1995. 
  • The human rights enjoyed by the disabled, through this Act. 
  • The disabled should be included into the society.
Disability may be generally defined as a condition which may restrict a person's mental, sensory or mobility functions to undertake or perform a task in the same way as a person who does not have a disability.

Disabilities affect people in different ways. Many people associate the 'disabled' with someone who is in a wheelchair or who is blind or deaf They have the attitude that people with a disability are totally different and therefore should be treated differently. Unfortunately, this kind of stereotyping is itself a form of discrimination.

People with a disability come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, sex and cultures just as we all do. The only thing that separates a person with a disability is that, for one reason or another, they are unable to do certain things in the same way as the mainstream of society. They may require some form of adaptation or alteration to assist them to overcome the effect of their disability.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) identifies and defines the following categories of disability. Physical disability affects a person's mobility or dexterity. Intellectual disability affects a person's abilities to learn. Psychiatric disability affects a person's thinking processes. Sensory disability affects a person's ability to hear or see. Neurological disability results in the loss of some bodily or mental functions.

A disability may be present from birth or occur during a person's lifetime. However, when we thinks of names like Einstein, Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking, Sudha Chandran, Arunima Sinha, Rajendra Singh Rahelu and many more, one realises that these are not just disabled people, they are, in fact, people with very special abilities.

The census shows that the population of disabled people has increased by 22.4% from 2.19 crore in 2001 to 2.68 crore in 2011. The increase is more in the rural areas and in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim.

As per the census, a significant population with disabilities in India lives in the rural areas. In rural areas, people with disabilities are ostracised and denied to be included in the society.

They are denied basic education or vocational training and thus do not have any scope of employment. Lack of rehabilitation turns them poverty-stricken and the disabled people in the rural areas are therefore caught up in a vicious cycle of disability and poverty.

Things may not be as bad in the urban area, but there are cases where the disabled are harassed and discriminated. Unlike in foreign countries, buildings in India do not cater for the requirements of special architecture for the disabled. It is as though the society has become visually impaired, turning a blind eye towards them.

India's Disability Act of 1995 provides various facilities for both children and adults with disabilities in the country. The Act has been enacted under Article 253 of the Constitution. The facilities are
  • Children with disabilities have the right to free education until they reach the age of eighteen in schools that are integrated or in special schools. 
  • Children with disabilities have the right to appropriate transportation, removal of architectural barriers, as well as the restructuring of curriculum and modifications in the examination system. 
  • Scholarships, uniforms, books and teaching materials are all provided to children with disabilities for free. 
  • Children with disabilities have access to special schools that are equipped with vocational training facilities and non-formal education. India provides training institutions for teachers in order to establish manpower.
  • Parents of children with disabilities in the nation can move to an appropriate court for the redress of grievances in regards to their children with disabilities. 
  • Parents of children with disabilities are required to obtain a 'Disability Certificate' from 'Office of the Commissioner for Disabilities', in order to access the facilities.
  • Every `panchayat' is provided funding by the government in order to build roads, schools and public ramps for people with disabilities. 
  • Three-percent of all government jobs in the country are reserved for people with disabilities and the Disability Act includes affirmative action for people with disabilities. 
The implementation of the act requires a multi-sectoral collaborative approach by the appropriate governments, including various Central Ministries/Depai tuients, States/Union Territories, local bodies. 
Human Rights are universal. Even differently-abled persons are entitled to the realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on equal terms with others in society, without discrimination of any kind.

They also enjoy certain human rights specifically linked to their status. The human rights of differently-abled persons include the following indivisible, interdependent and inter-related human rights
  • The human right to freedom from any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on the status of differently-abled. 
  • The human right to freedom from discrimination in access to housing, education, social services, health care or employment. 
  • The human right to active participation in all aspects of social, economic, political and cultural life of society. 
  • The human right to full equality before the law and equal protection of the law. 
  • The human right to the highest attainable standard of health, to medical, psychological and functional treatment, including prosthetic and orthotic appliances, to medical and social rehabilitation and other services necessary for the maximum development of capabilities, skills and self-reliance.
  • The human right to work, according to capabilities, to receive equal wages for equal work. 
  • The human right to be treated with dignity and respect. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the mindset towards differently-abled people must change and the word `viklang' (disabled) should be replaced with 'clivyang' (endowed with special faculties). It is important for every citizen to realise the need for including the disabled people into the society. 
As we forge ahead into a brighter and a better world, we need to hold the hands of the disabled people and take them along with us. It is time to make India a discrimination-free and inclusive society where the disabled have the right of space like all others. 

Difficult Words with Meanings :
  • Mobility the ability to move freely or be easily moved
  • Stereotyping idea of a particular type of person or thing
  • Ostracised to exclude by general consent, from society, friendship, conversation, privileges etc
  • Grievance a complaint or resentment, as against an unjust or unfair act
  • Autonomy independence or freedom, as of the will or ones' action;
  • Endowed to provide with a permanent fund or source of income, a talent, quality etc
  • Dexterity the ability to use your hands skillfully
  • Prosthetic an artificial body part
  • Orthotic an artificial support or brace for the limbs or spine
  • Forge to make or produce something, especially with some difficulty.
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani
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