18 Dec :The Government of India formulated the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities in February 2006 which deals with Physical, Educational & Economic Rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. In addition the policy also focuses upon rehabilitation of women and children with disabilities, barrier free environment, social security, research etc.
The Government of India has also initiated a new scheme for providing Incentives to Employers in the Private Sector for Providing Employment to the Persons with Disabilities w.e.f. 01.04.2008, which envisages payment of employer’s contribution to Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees State Insurance (ESI) by the Government for the first three years for providing employment to persons with disabilities in the private sector. The scheme is applicable to persons with monthly wages up to Rs.25,000/- per month.
Central Co-ordination Committee as provided in the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 have been in existence to review and coordinate the activities of all the Departments of Government and other Organizations which are dealing with matters relating to persons with disabilities, to take steps to ensure barrier free environment in public places, to monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of persons with disabilities.
Major impact of the policies and other initiatives has been as follows:-
(i) Physical Rehabilitation
• Under Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/ Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) Scheme, 3.12 lakhs, 3.06 lakhs and 2.25 lakhs persons have been benefited in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively.
(ii) Educational Rehabilitation
• 27.23 lakh children with disabilities have been identified under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) up to 30th September, 2008, of whom 22.53 lakh children have been enrolled in general schools. 0.88 lakh children with disabilities have been covered under Education Gurantee Scheme and Alternative and Innovative Education and 1.12 lakh children with disabilities are being provided home based education.
• Under Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC), assistance has been given to 18 States and 3 UTs for 64,307 Schools, where 3.57 lakhs children with disabilities studied in 2007-08.
• Under the “Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme”, assistance is being provided for education and vocational training of approximately 80,000 children with disabilities in about 700 institutions of special education and vocational training run by Non-Governmental Organization.
• 16950 special teachers are being trained every year to teach children with disabilities.
(iii) Economical Rehabilitation
• Through National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC), Rs.23.44 crore, Rs. 25.95 crore and Rs.28.44 crore have been disbursed to persons with disabilities to take up self-employment ventures in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively.
This information was given by Smt. Subbulakhmi Jagadeesan, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.