Welfare Schemes , Laws and Institutions for Disabled Persons

Welfare Schemes , Laws and Institutions for Disabled Persons

This article deals with ‘Welfare Schemes , Laws and Institutions for Disabled Persons .’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here


  • Einstein had learning impairment yet he developed Theory of Relativity
  • Thomas Alva Edison had hearing impairment but his inventions created the modern world
  • Louis Braille was visually impaired but his invention enabled blind people worldover to read and write

These people told the world that it is not the disability but one’s ability that counts

  • Persons with Disability Act defines Disability under 21 categories like blindness, low vision, leprosy cured, hearing impairment, loco motor disability, mental retardation and mental illness.
  • 2011 Census says 2.21% of Indian population is disabled (which is underestimation).

Issues with Disables

  • Disability is not  measured properly in India. Census depends on self-reporting of disability – many don’t report owing to social stigma
  • India looks at disability from medical or pathological angle only. Most developed countries look from social angle 
  • Lack of Institutional and Infrastructural Support for the disabled in India.
    • Lack of schools for disabled
    • Physical infrastructure is not disabled friendly etc
  • Under new  GST regime , almost all disability  aids and appliances to be taxed at rate of  5% or 12% 

Rights of Person with Disability Act , 2016

  • Bill is brought to fulfill obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)  ratified by India in 2007.
  • Passed in 2017


  • Types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 including Acid Attack Victims, Dwarfism, etc
  • Reservation in government jobs=>  increased from 3% to 4%
  • Every disabled child in age group 6 and 18 years to have right to free education.
  • Ensure accessibility in public buildings (both Government and private) 
  • Special Courts for handling cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.


  • Right based approach: Will help to move the discourse away from charity 
  • Wider coverage: The list of disabilities is expanded from 7 to 21 
  • Provides reservation and hence will help in Socio-Economic development


  • Reservation : Reservation was 5% in 2014 proposed bill and reduced to 4% in this
  • No provision regarding insurance companies that they cant charge higher premiums from Disabled persons

Marrakesh Treaty and blind

  • Copyrights don’t apply if book is reproduced for visually challenged
  • 2014:India ratified this treaty
  • 2014 : launched Sugamya Pustkalya in line with treaty

Sugamya Bharat Abhiyaan (Accessible India Campaign )

  • Started in 2015
  • For creating Barrier free environment for Disables 
  • The campaign targets three separate verticals for
    • Equality in Accessing built up environment (ie Disable friendly buildings)
    • Equality in Accessing Information and Communication
    • Equality in Accessing Transportation
Accessible India Campaign

What will be done under this?

Accessible India Campaign

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