Census 2011 has revealed that 26.8 million people in India suffer from one or the other kind of disability. This is equivalent to 2.21% of India’s population. The World Health Organization (WHO), which uses a wider definition of disability- including conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease – estimates that 6-10% of the population suffers from identifiable physical or mental disability. This works out to more than 70 million people in India. Women with disabilities accounting to 11.8 million in India, are recognized to be multiply disadvantaged, experiencing exclusion on account of their gender and their disability. Mortality for children with disabilities may be as high as 80 per cent and amongst the children who do survive, ninety per cent do not attend school.
There is a definite need to review the existing legislative framework in India, to examine whether it adequately promotes the rights to people living with disabilities, to ensure that existing laws and practices that are discriminatory towards these people are repealed or amended. Some policies restrict the PWDs to use services such as bank policies, vehicle-licence, and others. In addition, there have been a few airline transport services that prevent physically-impaired persons from going on-board. Disabled rights groups are demanding new laws that would guarantee civil and political rights to disabled people and expand the definition of disability. Also, there is much to be done to educate people and raise awareness towards PWDs. Despite the large percentage of population they constitute, PWDs face social exclusion and discrimination.
It is factors like these that have propelled the birth on DNA – Disability NGO Alliance, with an endeavour to reach out and make impact, providing effective solutions towards enhancing the quality of lives of all Individuals with Disabilities.
- Percentage of disabled persons in India has increased both in rural and urban areas during the last decade.
- Proportion of disabled population is higher in rural areas
- Decadal increase in proportion is significant in urban areas
Source: India Government Census 2011