Unit5: Role of Government and NGOs

5.1 Rural and urban needs

5.2 Family and community

5.3 Concessions and benefits

5.4 Legislations

5.5 Various schemes and benefits available for children with mental retardation











5.1 Rural and urban needs

Adults with disabilities may have difficulty participating in social activities. Challenges such as a lack of accessible transportation, health limitations, and discrimination can make it harder for adults with disabilities to connect and build relationships with others in their communities. This may lead to feelings of isolation, or a lack of perceived social support. Past studies have found that feeling isolated is linked with worse physical and mental health for people with and without disabilities. For working-age adults with disabilities, factors such as overall health, number of disabilities, employment status, and living arrangements may be related to feelings of social involvement or isolation. In addition, experiences of social involvement and isolation may be different for adults with disabilities who live in rural vs. urban areas.

5.2 Family and community

Establishing meaningful relationships with families is a critical part of your work, and your communication is especially important when working with families with school-age children with special needs. While many families with school-age children are familiar with their child’s learning needs and the types of support available, they can still be overwhelmed by what feels like a constant flow of suggestions and appointments to help their children learn and develop. Families’ and children’s needs evolve as children with special needs grow older, and families may turn to you, or others in your program, for assistance with connecting to services or agencies outside of your program. It may be helpful to form relationships outside agencies so you, or trainers and administrators in your program, have up-to-date information on how to make a referral and the types of services offered. Positive interactions with families and other professionals can decrease families’ stress and improve their well-being.

Families with school-age children with special needs may be collaborating with a variety of other support professionals such as intervention specialists (i.e. special education teachers), related services personnel, and behavior analysts. Families may access support and services for school-age children through schools, medical facilities, and community organizations. Children who receive special education through their school will have an individualized education program (IEP). You, or someone in your program, may be asked to collaborate with other professionals to create consistency between the support children receive at home, in school, and in before- and after-school care. Working with professionals from outside agencies and programs helps things run smoothly for families and ensures that all the professionals and caregivers in a child’s life are communicating. This lessens family stress by reducing the need for primary caregivers to act as the in-between messenger of important information.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes the role of families in promoting the right of people with disabilities: “Convinced that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state, and that persons with disabilities and their family members should receive the necessary protection and assistance to enable families to contribute towards the full and equal enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities”.

On the basis of the CRPD recommendations from international bodies, research has stressed the importance of families and community groups playing an active role in advocating the elimination of legislative or constitutional barriers to education for children and adults with disabilities17, as well as advancing changes in policy and legislation for inclusive education.

The CRPD is in itself an example of how collaboration among the disability movement and networking among persons, families and organizations translated into empowerment and changed the political and legal determinants of disability. The process of promoting the CRPD created a strengthening of identity from a fragmented, marginalized and vulnerable community to a powerful voice with national and international impact.

Some families and community members will participate more in their children’s education than others. What matters in an inclusive system of education is that their role is recognized and their views and opinions are valued and respected.

5.3 Concessions and benefits

As a welfare State the Government of India as well as the State governments offer wide variety of concessions and benefits to persons with mentally challenged. For each category of concessions apart from eligibility requirements, magnitude of the assistance, definition of the handicap, clear guidelines regarding application form, procedure of availing the benefit etc. are clearly enunciated and elaborated by Government orders issued from time to time.

Concession on railways
Railways allow persons with disability to travel at concession fares up to 75% in the first and second classes. Escorts accompanying blind, orthopedically and mentally handicapped persons are also eligible to 75% concession in the basic fare.

Air travel concessions
Indian Airlines allow 50% concession fares to blind persons on single journeys.

Payment of postage, both inland and foreign, for transmission by post of ‘Blind Literature’ packets is exempted if sent by surface route.

Braille paper has been exempted from excise and customs duty provided the paper is supplied direct to a school for the blind or to a Braille press against an indent placed by the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehradun. All audio cassettes recorded with material from books, newspapers or magazines for the blind are exempt from custom duty. Several other items have also been exempted from customs duty if imported for the use of a persons with disability.

Conveyance allowance
All Central government employees who are blind or orthopedically handicapped are granted conveyance at 5% of basic pay subject to a maximum of INR 100 per month.

Educational Allowance
Reimbursement of tuition fee of physically and mentally handicapped children of the Central government employees has been enhanced to INR 50/–.

Income tax concession
The amount of deduction from total income of a person with blindness, mental retardation or permanent physical disability has been increased to INR 40,000/–.

Award of dealership by oil companies
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has reserved 7.5% of all types of dealership agencies of the public sector companies, for the orthopedically handicapped and blind persons. However, persons with visual handicap are not eligible for LPG distribution. Similarly, the Ministry has also reserved 7.5% of such dealership/agencies for defense personnel, and those severely disabled either in war or while on duty in peacetime.

Candidates with Physical handicaps, appointed on a regional basis, be given as far as possible, appointments as close to their native place as possible.

Economic assistance by public sector banks
All orphanages, homes for women and persons with physical handicaps as well as institutions working for the welfare of the handicapped, are given loans and advances at very low rates of interest (4% under DRI) and a subsidy of 50% up to a maximum of INR 5,000/– is also admissible. State Governments/Union Territories also give concessions/facilities such as reservation in jobs, scholarships, old age pension, free travel in buses, etc.

5.4 Legislations

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a law that ensures certain rights for children with disabilities and their families. Parents have a certain role to play in the process of getting children the help they need.

International Human Rights: UN Charter:

The charter of the United Nations of 1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization. Article 55 says that With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well being which are necessary for the peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of people's, the United Nations s shall promote:
a. Higher standard of living , full employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development;
b. solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems and international cultural and educational cooperation
c. Universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.

Declaration On The Rights of Disabled Persons:

The Declaration of the Rights of Disabled persons was a declaration of the General Assembly of the United Nations made on 9 Dec 1975. It is the 3447th resolution made by by the Assembly.

The disabled person shall enjoy all rights contained in this declaration without distinction or discrimination. The disabled persons have inherent rights to respect for their human dignity and irrespective of the origin, nature and seriousness of their handicaps and disabilities, have same Fundamental Rights. Disabled persons have the same civil and political rights as other human beings. Disabled persons are entitled to the measures designed to enable them to become as self-reliant as possible. Disabled persons have the right to economic and social security, including the right, according to their capabilities, to secure and retain employment or to engage in a useful, productive and remunerative occupation and to join trade unions. Disabled persons have the right to live with their families or with foster parents and to participate in all social, creative or recreational activities. Disabled persons shall be protected against all exploitation and treatment of a discriminatory, abusive or degrading nature.

Provisions of the Declaration include:
1) The definition of " disabled person" as anyone who cannot ensure the necessities of a normal individual and or social life as a result of deficiency in physical or mental capabilities.

2) A non discrimination clause applying the Rights to all disabled persons regardless of " race , colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions , national or social origin , state of wealth, birth " or other situation

3) Anna statement regarding disabled persons right to respect for their human dignity.

The Convention On The Rights of Persons With Disabilities:

The Convention on the Rights of Disabilities is an international human rights treaty of the United Nations intended to protect the Rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Parties to the convention are required to promote , protect and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law.

In the charter of the United Nations it is proclaimed that the inherent dignity and worth and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Similarly, the United Nations, in the universal declaration of human rights and in the International covenants on Economic, Social and cultural rights. It is supposed that the convention would make a significant contribution to redressing the profound social disadvantage of persons with disabilities and promote their participation in the civil, political, economic, and social and cultural spheres with equal opportunities, in both developing and developed countries. The convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities deals with matters such as, general principles on the basis of which the rights of the disabled persons are to be promoted and protected, the obligations that have been undertaken by the State parties to adopt measures. The protocol has been added to the present convention authorizing the Committee on the Peron with Disabilities to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals, who claim to be victims of a violation by a State party of the provisions of the present convention.

Constitutional Rights of Disabled Persons:

Prohibition of Discrimination:
Article 15 is a manifestation of “Right to Equality” under article 14, as it enshrines a specific dimension of the principles of equality relating to discrimination by state or various grounds . Under article 15 the protection extends only to citizens , unlike article 14 which protects ‘ any person’ . Thus in application article 15 protects from discriminatory state activities but the ambit of article 15 is narrower than that of article 14.
Article 15 of the Indian constitution deals with “prohibition of discrimination” on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

It runs as follows:
Article 15(2) says, no no citizen shall on the grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subjected to any disabilities liability restriction or condition with regard to :
(a) Access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
(b) The use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of the state funds dedicated to the use of the general public.

Equity In Social, Economics And Cultural Rights:
Article 25 of the CRDP recognizes the “right of a person with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity , state parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning.” They considered constitution to grant education to children with disabilities if they explicitly guarantee the right to education , the right to free education, or the right to compulsory education to children with disabilities or prohibit discrimination in education on the basis if disability. Globally only 28% of the countries provide some type of constitutional guarantee of educational rights or the children with disabilities.

Right To Work:
Article 27 of the CRDP instructs states to “recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the rights to opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.

Right To Liberty:
Article 14 of the CRPD instructs state parties to guarantee people with disabilities the right to liberty and security of person. We considered the right to liberty to be guaranteed to persons with disabilities if they were explicitly granted the right to freedom or liberty. Globally, only 9% of the constitution explicitly guarantee the right to liberty to persons with disabilities. However 19% of the constitution specifies that the right to liberty can be denied to persons with the mental health condition.

Right To Freedom of Expression:
In article 21, the CRPD states that to “take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion include the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas on an equal basis with others and through all forms of communications of their choice.”

Rights of Disabled Persons In India:
Persons with disabilities are one of the most neglected sections of our nation. This is due to the sheer indifference of the society which subjects such people to disapproval and antipathy. Such people have several rights under various Indian laws as well as UN conventions that are followed in India. Under section 2(i) of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995,"disability" includes blindness, low vision, leprosy cured, hearing impairment, locomotor disability, mental retardation and mental illness.

Disability Certificate: It is the most basic document that a disabled person should possess in order to avail certain benefits and concessions. The State Medical Boards established under the State governments can issue a disability certificate to any person with more than 40% disability.

Disability Pension: People who are above 18 years of age, suffering with more than 80% disability and are living below the poverty line are entitled to the disability pension under the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme. Various NGOs are dedicated to this because i.e. they help such persons with disabilities to get their disability pension.
Employment: In government jobs, 3% of the seats are reserved for persons with disabilities.

Income Tax Concession: Under sections 80DD and 80U of Income Tax Act, 1961, persons with disabilities are also entitled to certain income tax concessions.

Person With Disabilities Act 1995

The Persons with Disabilities Act , 1995 had come into enforcement on Feb 7, 1996. It is a significant step which ensures equal opportunities for the people with disabilities and their full participation in the nation building . The Act provides for both the preventive and promotional aspects of rehabilitation like education , employment and vocational training, reservation , research and manpower development and rehabilitation of persons with disability , unemployment allowance for the disabled persons.

Main Provisions of the Act:
1) Prevention and Early Detection of Disabilities
2) Education
3) Employment
4) Non discrimination
5) Social Security
6 ) Research and manpower development
7) Grievance Redress In Jared Abiding v. Union of India the supreme Court bearing in mind the discomfort and harassment suffering by a person of locomotor so disability would face while travelling by train particularly to far off places issued directions to the Indian Airlines to grant persons suffering from locomotor so disability to the extent of 80%.

In National Federation of blind v . UPSC The supreme Court held that , UPSC may be directed to allow blind persons for appearing the examinations for Indian administrative and allied Services.

In Government of NCT of Delhi v. Bharath Lalmeena The Delhi High court held that people with disabilities can be appointed as physical education teachers provided they have passed the qualifying examination undergone the requisite training.

Policies In India:
National policy for persons with disabilities, 2006 . The Government of India formulated the national Policy for persons with disabilities in Feb 2006 which deals with the physical , educational and economic rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.

The National Policy recognise the Persons with Disabilities are valuable human resources for the country and seeks to create an environment that provides them equal opportunities, protection of their rights and full participation in society . Some of the aspects which the policy focuses on are:
1) Prevention of Disabilities 2) Rehabilitation Measures 3) Women with disabilities 4) Children with disabilities

Disability refers to the disadvantage or restrictions of activity caused by the way society is organised which takes little or no account if people who have physical , sensory or mental impairments . Disability is an unfortunate part od human life which can effect not only the natural way of a living but also despair component strength and power . The Government needs to launch more social security schemes for disabled sections and generate more employment opportunities for them . Several schemes and benefits conference on the disabled persons has come up as relief and has successfully served to provide equal opportunities to the disabled section.

5.5 Various schemes and benefits available for children with mental retardation

Schemes under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE)

DISHA: Early Intervention and School Readiness Scheme

This is an early intervention and school readiness scheme for children upto 10 years with the disabilities covered under the National Trust Act.

VIKAAS: Day Care

A day care scheme for persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities, above 10 years for enhancing interpersonal and vocational skills.

DISHA cum VIKAAS: Day Care Scheme

For the Registered Organisations, who were implementing multiple schemes, an option for implementing merged scheme was given. Based on the consent given by the ROs and the scheme guidelines, these ROs were allotted the merged Disha-cum-Vikaas Scheme (Day Care) w.e.f. 1.4.2018.

SAMARTH: Respite Care

A scheme to provide respite home for orphans, families in crisis, Persons with Disabilities (PwD) from BPL, LIG families with at least one of the four disabilities covered under the National Trust Act.

GHARAUNDA: Group Home for Adults

This scheme provides housing and care services throughout the life of the person with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.

SAMARTH cum GHARAUNDA: Residential Scheme

For the Registered Organisations, who were implementing multiple schemes, an option for implementing merged scheme was given. Based on the consent given by the ROs and the scheme guidelines, these ROs were allotted the merged Samarth-cum-Gharaunda Scheme (Residential) w.e.f. 1.4.2018.

NIRAMAYA: Health Insurance Scheme

This scheme is to provide affordable Health Insurance to persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities. 

SAHYOGI: Caregiver training scheme

A scheme  to set up Caregiver Cells (CGCs) for training and creating skilled workforce of caregivers to care for Person with Disabilities (PwD) and their families. 

GYAN PRABHA: Educational support

A scheme to encourage people with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities for pursuing educational/ vocational courses.

PRERNA: Marketing Assistance

A marketing scheme to create viable & wide spread channels for sale of products and services produced by persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities.

SAMBHAV: Aids and Assistive Devices

This is a scheme to setup additional resource centres in each city, to collate and collect the Aids, software and other form of assistive devices.

BADHTE KADAM: Awareness, Community Interaction and Innovative Project

This scheme supports Registered Organisations (RO) of The National Trust to carry out activities for increasing the awareness of The National Trust disabilities.