Who are Disabled People?
Throughout centuries, the disabled have been oppressed marginalized and stigmatized in almost all societies. They constitute a section of the population, which is most backward least served and grossly neglected. Person with disability are the poorest of the poor and weakest of the weak, who have been socially, educationally and economically disadvantaged; thus having customarily denied their right to self-assertion, identity and development. Now where is this victimisation more glaring than in matters of education, employment and physical access. Disability is not all alone sometimes impairment and handicap was used interchangeably, but these terms has different meanings and describe different concepts. To promote appropriate use of these terms, in 1980 the World Health Organization established the international classification of impairment, disability and handicap, which define these concepts: Impairment – refers to the loss or abnormality of psychological, physical, or anatomical structure or function at the system or organ level that may or may not be permanent and that may or may not result in disability. Disability – refers to an individual limitation or restriction of an activity as the result of impairment. Handicap – refers to the disadvantage to the individual resulting from an impairment or disability that presents a barrier to fulfilling a role or reaching a goal.1 Disability is a relative term in so far as different cultures define their norms of being and doing differently. Conceptions of disability are therefore highly contextual and subjective.
People with disabilities need special care and attention. You need to understand the effect that these disabilities cause to the person suffering from them. Some of these disabilities might be from birth, however, you will surely come across various disability scenarios where the person affected by the disability had either met with a recent accident or has undergone some serious illness that has rendered the person with the disability.
The issues related to disability is not merely the fact that the person is suffering from certain restraints in physical or mental or social aspects but it goes beyond this point in concern about the livelihood of the person effected with such disabilities. Governments and global organizations like the WHO are trying to find the solution to help these persons with the proper means of sustaining themselves.
Special movements for the people suffering from disabilities have been started to ensure that they are able to get the proper help and support that they deserve. These movements ensure that not only help and support is provided for a short term to these people but a long term solution is also available to them to ensure they are able to live a proper life by sustaining themselves. The several programs that are there to help physically, mentally and socially impaired persons include educating them about the different options that are there that they can choose to earn a livelihood and also to live with dignity. Education is also necessary for self care in certain situations where the people with disabilities must learn to take proper care for themselves and their conditions. It is also important t see that these people suffering from these disabilities are able to lead a proper social life and communicate with others properly.
At times, the disability that the person is suffering from is such that it might become a problem for communication. These disabilities include hearing disability, vision and speech disability and sometimes mental disabilities like cerebral palsy. In such situations it is important to understand the nature of the disability as well as the consequences. Apart from these issues these organizations also help people with disabilities to a normal domestic life, effective communication and at times financial aid. Without the proper care and help, it is next to impossible to help these people and it is essential to help them not only because they are part of our community but also because they are part of the humanity.
Programmes and concessions for the disabled Government of India has taken the responsibility of providing optimal environment to ensure full participation of the persons with disabilities. In this context, it has introduced a number of welfare programs, schemes, concessions and facilities for educational, vocational and economic rehabilitation.
Education: Children’s educational allowance The reimbursement of tuition fee in respect of physically handicapped and mentally retarded children of the Central Government employee has been enhanced from Rs.50/- to Rs.100/- per month.
Scheme of integrated education for the disabled children - Under the scheme, handicapped children are sought to be integrated in the normal school system. 100% assistance is provided to the States/ UTs for education of children suffering from certain mild handicaps in common schools with the help of necessary aids, incentives and specially trained teachers. Financial assistance to persons with disabilities: - The National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation NHFDC, a subsidiary under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Government of India, promotes infrastructure development schemes directly leading to income generation. This corporation provides self-employment opportunities to the persons with disabilities by providing loans at very low rates of interest.
Travel concession: By Rail- Orthopedically handicapped persons / mentally retarded persons with an escort, on production of a medical certificate, are eligible to 75% concession. By Air Locomotors disabled persons with 80% disability are allowed 50% concession in Indian Airlines. Employment of handicapped: Assistance to disabled persons in getting gainful employment either through special cells in National Employment Exchanges or through Special Employment Exchanges for physically handicapped. Up to 100% financial assistance is provided in the case of special cells and 80% in the case of Special Employment Exchanges to state governments / union territory administrations.
Communication: Educated unemployed persons are eligible for allotment of STD, PCOs. The educational qualifications for the applicants are 8th or middle class passed from rural areas, at least matriculation or high school for urban areas. Conveyance allowance: Orthopedically handicapped with disability of lower extremities will be paid transport allowance at double the normal rates. Handicapped employees who have been provided with government accommodation within a distance of 1 kilometer from the place of work or within the campus, the allowance shall be admissible at normal rates.
Miscellaneous programmes: Family pension to disabled children - Handicapped children shall be eligible for the benefit of family pension even if they have been born after the retirement of the Government Servant from a marriage solemnized after retirement.
Ad-hoc allotment of central pool residential accommodation to the physically handicapped employees - Government employees suffering from tuberculosis, cancer and physically handicapped persons may get adhoc allotment of general pool residential accommodation on request after recommendation of the special recommendation committee and on the approval of the urban development ministry.
When we talk about ensuring rights & facilities to disabled people, we can't forget the work of Mr "Puran Doshi". He is the secretary of Congress(I) & Ex Corporator of Colaba. He has worked a lot towards the welfare of disabled people in Mumbai. He had proposed the construction of ramps for disabled people throughout the city to reduce the difficulties faced by disabled people while travelling to different places within the city. Meanwhile He has utilized his corporators fund for building ramps at various places in South Mumbai. He has also proposed ramps on footpaths at Best Bhawan, the promenade at Gateway of India, Nariman Point, Mantralaya & Police Headquarters. But the proposal was not approved by the civic administration on the grounds that it will lead to intrusion on foothpaths. "The civic administration claimed that it is disabled friendly but it's not true. If there is any vehicle intrusion then traffic police should take care of it, it's sad that there is no concern for the disabled", said Doshi. His dedication & work towards the improvement of facilities for disabled person shows his sheer dedication in improving the structure of society