[AI] Disability and Census of 2011

mahendra galani at chello.at
Wed Jun 23 04:11:07 EDT 2010

i thought Disability is not included for Census 2011?
i remember we discussing at lenth about this on our Group.

   At 05:04 AM 6/23/2010, you wrote:
>Disability and Census of 2011
>Kamal Bakshi
>Counting the "invisible" children of Mother India.
>While the current focus of political debate is on 'caste and census,'
>there is another important aspect that deserves attention. This
>concerns disability.
>For decades after our independence, there was no effort to actually
>count how many of us have any disability. There were estimates-
>informed or otherwise- but no factual figures. All our government's
>plans and budgets, rules and regulations, proclamations and posturing
>were built upon shaky foundations. A new Ministry was created, staffed
>and has been operating for several decades on that basis. It seemed to
>suit every one, except the millions who were thus rendered
>This lasted for 54 years. But, despite their 'invisibility,' the
>disabled and the NGOs dealing with disability made progress on the
>Let me illustrate with an example. There was no government or
>non-government organisation looking after the needs of children with
>cerebral palsy, till a young mother of a child with cerebral palsy set
>up the very first Spastics Society of India, Mumbai (now known as
>ADAPT-Able Disabled All People Together)) in 1972. The handful of
>children included her own daughter. Dr. Mithu Alur, our Chairperson,
>had thus created a unique institution, offering all facilities under
>one roof, including diagnosis, physiotherapy, physical aids,
>schooling, parental counselling, etc. Over time, these services also
>came to include research, teachers training, admission of older
>children in "normal" schools and colleges, job-oriented training and
>placements and so on. This model is now replicated in 18 States.
>Almost all the organisers have themselves been trained at Mumbai.
>These NGOs operate independently, while forming a Regional Alliance,
>constantly coordinating, cooperating and learning from one another.
>During preparations for the Census of 2001, several NGOs (including
>us) approached the Census Commission with the request that they should
>also count the disabled in our country. Obvious arguments were put
>forward. Approaches were also made through the concerned departments
>of the Government. Unfortunately, nothing worked; we were simply told
>that the disabled could not be included. The NGOs were persistent; the
>matter was taken to the political level. Eventually, it was decided
>that the Census would include, for the very first time, a counting of
>the disabled.
>However, this historic decision was taken at a very late stage, in the
>face of consistent opposition by the Census Establishment. Perhaps,
>their subsequent actions were reluctant and grudging. Perhaps, there
>was not enough time for the necessary preparations. It is also
>possible that, despite their best efforts, framing of appropriate
>questions, their translation into the required languages, training of
>the enumerators etc. left much to be desired. For all these reasons,
>the results of the Census 2001 were deeply disappointing for the
>disability movement.
>For example, the Census of 2001 concluded that there were only 2.13 %
>or 21 million Indians with any kind of disability. This was a fraction
>of the estimates by most experts. This has since been amply proved by
>a World Bank report of 2007.
>This report was "prepared at the request of the Government of India".
>In fact, it acknowledges "the guidance of officials of the Ministry of
>Social Justice and Empowerment, guidance provided by an
>inter-ministerial Technical Advisory Group set up for the work by
>MOSJE and consisting of representatives from the Ministries of Health,
>Labour, Human Resource Development and Rural development, as well as
>an NGO representative." Similarly, it acknowledges the help of
>officials in several States including Rajasthan, Karnataka, Orissa,
>Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In short, the World Bank Team had the
>full backing and support of the Government of India and many State
>The report is entitled 'People with Disabilities in India: From
>Commitments to Outcomes'. It concludes:
>"While estimates vary, there is growing evidence that people with
>disabilities comprise between 4 and 8 per cent of the India population
>(around 40-90 million individuals)"
>Obviously, there is a vast difference between 2.13 per cent or 21
>million 'counted' by the Census of India, and 4-8 per cent or 40-90
>million estimated by the World Bank team.
>Several NGOs, including ADAPT, have been interacting with the Census
>Commission, individually or in groups. The Commissioner, Dr. C.
>Chandramauli, has been positive and open-minded. In a recent letter to
>him, based on our own experience, and consultations with our regional
>partners and other experts, we have made a number of recommendations.
>These take into account the Commission's constraints of space and
>format, the work already done, and recommendations made by others in
>the disability movement, like a Delhi-based group which had also held
>wide consultations. For example, along with the Delhi group, we have
>endorsed the inclusion of four types of disability in seeing, hearing,
>speech and movement, repeated from the 2001 census. We have also
>endorsed the recommended inclusion of Multiple Disability and Mental
>Retardation. But, since the latter expression is no longer used, we
>propose "Remembering and Concentration" instead. Thus, there is
>already an agreement on the types of disability.
>Equally important is the framing of questions under each type.
>Questions must be activity related; these must also be relevant to our
>circumstances; only then can these elicit accurate responses. For
>example, the question suggested by us on speech is: "Do you have
>difficulty in speaking in your usual language?" The latter language is
>included because, in the course of a research study with UNICEF
>involving 31,000 children, we had found that children who had migrated
>out of their home states had a linguistic problem, which may be
>reflected as a speech problem. We have also submitted Hindi
>translations of these easy-to- understand questions to demonstrate
>that similar translations in other languages could be equally easy and
>Contrary to speculations, there is thus a growing meeting of minds
>between the Census Commission, on the one hand, and several sections
>of the disability movement, on the other. Thus, we can hope that the
>Census of 2011 will finally be able to give us a correct count of the
>disabled in our country, making them truly visible.
>( A former ambassador, Kamal Bakshi is Vice-Chairperson of ADAPT, Mumbai.)
>Easy tips for improving English at
>My contributions to the press
>Shadab Husain interviews Danny Bloom
>Many posts on one page
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with warm regards
        Mahendra Galani
window's live ID mahendragalani at hotmail.com       skype ID chintu3886
phone +4314943149 mobile +4369910366055,
address Herbst strasse 101.16.1 Vienna Austria Europe

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