[AI] FW: [SayEverything] Complete information on the rights of a disabled person in india

Asudani, Rajesh rajeshasudani at rbi.org.in
Mon Apr 16 04:04:36 PDT 2012

-----Original Message-----
From: sayeverything-bounces at sayeverything.org [mailto:sayeverything-bounces at sayeverything.org] On Behalf Of Balanagendran
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 4:02 PM
To: sayeverything
Cc: sakiforacause; chill.shruthi; sathustup; alex.sangfroid; balajiraghupathi; babujicm; vishnucia
Subject: [SayEverything] Complete information on the rights of a disabled person in india

"Disability is a class ill itself that any one may fall victim at any
time. It call come about as a result of a sudden accident, a fall down
a flight of stairs or disease. Disability maintains no socio-economic
boundaries. Since disability catches up with most people ill its fold
ill old age, it is a class that any of us may fall ill it someday."

Even today the disabled in India see their physical or mental
limitations as either a source of shame or a source of inspiration for
others. By concentrating on overcoming the disability, we fail to
notice that a disability itself cannot be overcome by a disabled
person, however, heroic she or he may be. In the West, the Disability
Rights Movement has realized this and, therefore, they proclaim that
"it is okay, even good, to be disabled".

The Disability Rights Movement:
Unlike other movements like Feminism or Lesbian Movements which have
distinct agendas of either gender justice or the right to sexual
orientation, the Disability Rights Movement does not have systematic
path. Disability Rights Movement even in the West has a very recent
origin and tries to draw strength from the traditional legal order
rather than by critiquing or deconstructing it. Joseph Shapiro neatly
summarizes the characteristics of this movement in the West: "The
disability movement is a mosaic movement for the 1990s. Diversity is
its critical characteristic. No leader or organization can claim to
speak for all the disabled".

The Disability Rights Movement in India and in Third World countries
is discursive and disorganized and there is no written documents to
trace its origin, Instead of coming together, sections of disabled
viz. blind persons, persons with physical disability, deaf and dumb
persons and those with mental disabilities hare launched their
movements and struggles separately, mainly through NGOs. It was all
the much difficult for all disabled groups to come together with the
stupendous diversities in their problems. Two important reasons can be
assigned for such a scenario. Firstly, in our country, the disabled
are bound to struggle to fulfill the basic needs like food, shelter
and education and therefore, they are bound to be disable specific in
their struggles. Secondly, the Advocates of Disability Rights in India
do not have any coherence in their agenda, some stress solely on
Rehabilitation and Research, others are solely concerned with
generation of employment and still others are wholly occupied by
efforts in the education sector. A few in India ever talk of about
the' Civil Rights' or 'Crisis of Identity' of the disabled. Under such
circumstances the various groups have to work segregated, and so they
could not come together chalk out a common agenda.

Actually in India the Disability Rights Movement has been launched by
NGOs and therefore, a large number of NGOs have mushroomed all over
the country. Instead of working together to strengthen the movement,
there is often seen unwarranted and unhealthy rivalry between NGOs .
Similar conflicts was also noted across different sections of the
disabled. While there are a number of organizations making serious
rehabilitation efforts and genuinely working for the upliftment of the
disabled there are also NGOs that are simply cashing in on the cause
just trying to pocket the funds and doing nothing for the disabled.

Assumptions about the disabled:
Some stereotyped presumptions prevailed about the disabled in our country like:

1. Disabled people are the most vulnerable section of society and have
been ignored by state and society alike since long.

2. Disabled people have always been dependent and, therefore, need
helping . hands and gracious charity.

Disabled people are victims of their own bad luck.

Disableness is the punishment for sins he has never committed in this life.

Such assumptions about the disabled do nothing to help them. This
approach perpetuates the stereotype of the disabled as victims and
objects of pity and charity.

Persons with disability are considered to have a very small sphere to
operate within owing to their limitations. So if a disabled person
achieves something beyond his/her small 'sphere' he/she is considered
to have almost overcome his /her disability. He/She is then presented
as a role model and a source of inspiration for the non-disabled
community even. This image hits the average disabled person very hard
who does not have the capacity to live up to such heroic standards.
Average disabled people tend to compare their' little successes' to
the' large successes, of his fellow disabled. This leads to an
inferiority complex among them.

Government's Solace for the disabled:
Until 1995 there was no law that even defined discrimination against
people with disabilities. It is only with the 'Persons with
Disabilities Act,' passed in 1995 that discrimination specifically
against persons with disabilities came under the purview of the law.

Till 1995, most of the welfare measures taken by the States were by
way of affirmative action. The Ministry of Social Welfare was largely
concerned with problems of persons with disability and with providing
them privileges. Rehabilitation of people with disability by opening
shelter workshops and educational and research institutions like the
National Institute of Visually Handicapped, Dehra Dun, the National
Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad, the National
Institute for the Orthopedically Handicapped, Calcutta and the Ali
Anwar Jung National Institute for Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai
providing basic education to individuals with disability by funding
NGOs, opening special schools and awarding scholarships for students
with disability, providing employment through job reservations mainly
in Class 3 and 4 in Central and State Government Departments and
giving disabled people travel concessions and installing awards for
disabled workers and institutions working for the welfare of the
disabled. During early 80' s some major developments in the
International Disability Rights Movement brought about a change in the
attitude of the Government of India. The first earnest sign was the
enactment of the "Mental Health Act, 1987". The Act is aimed at
protecting mentally ill persons in matters of admission and detention
in psychiatric hospitals and the custody of his/her persons, his/her
property and its management and human rights.

Persons with Disabilities Act 1995
A meeting was convened by the Economic and Social Commission for the
Asia* Pacific region in Beijing in December 1992 to launch the
Asia-Pacific decade of disabled persons. The meeting declared
1993-2000 as the Asia-Pacific decade and proclaimed the "full
participation and equality of people with disabilities" as the
objective. To give legislative effect to the above proclamation, the
'Persons wit~ Disabilities (Equal Opportunity, Protection of Civil
Rights, and Full Participation) Act was enacted in India in 1995 and
came into force on 1st January 1996.

Objectives of the Act:
1.To spell out the responsibility of the State towards the prevention
of disabilities. protection of rights, provision of medical care,
education, training, employment and rehabilitation of persons with

2. To create a barrier-free environment for disabled persons.

3. To remove any discrimination against disabled people in the sharing
of developed benefits for non-disabled persons.

4. To counteract any situation of abuse and the exploitation of
disabled persons.

5. To lay down strategies for the development of comprehensive
programmes services and the equalization of opportunities for disabled

6. To make special provisions for the integration of persons with
disabilities into social mainstream.

Critics :
A close study of the Act makes us feel "as if the Government is a
gracious donor and disabled persons are absolute dependents". This is
a major stumbling block in the process of providing equal
opportunities to the disabled. Instead of focusing on the capabilities
of disabled people, the Act focuses very much on activity limitations
of the disabled and perpetuates the victim image of disabled people.

Unfortunately the Act does not pay any serious attention to securing
some basic rights like the right to human dignity, right to equal
concern and respect, right against discrimination in public employment
and educational institutions, right against exploitation, right
against victimization etc.

The Act has completely ignored some vital aspects such as: Pre-school
education of disabled children, special problems of the parents of the
disabled, special problems of the female disabled, games, sports and
cultural activities, exploitation of disabled by their own families,
higher education of the disabled.

Although the implement of the Act has been gradual, it does not mean
that the Act has not helped the disabled at all. It has provided a
platform to unite and mobilize disabled individuals across the
country. It is also significant to witness the participation of the
disabled in decision-making processes through their representation in
various policy making and shaping bodies under the Act.

The success of this Act would, however, depend much upon the extent to
which the political leaders and bureaucratic executive internalizes
the values, sensibilities and goals enshrined in the Act. If persons
with disability are to be regarded as full citizens of India, their
right to equal concern and respect must find its expression in the
supreme law of the land.
"If anyone can do, i also can do. if none can do, i must do!"

With Warm Regards

IAS Aspirant
Skype: balanagendran

Never quit

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