GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes
Direction: The article discusses District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRC) and shortcomings on part of the govt to establish such centres.
Context: According to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, the Union Government looks somewhat casual in its approach to establishing the District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRC)
- The revised DDRC scheme requires the establishment of 269 DDRCs, although only 55-60 DDRCs have been made operational in selected districts yet.
- The 2011 census estimated (based on questions on 7 kinds of disabilities) that the number of PwDs in India is close to 2.68 crores (2.2% of the population) – that is more than the entire population of Australia.
Establishment of DDRCs:
- During 1985-1990, District Resource Centres (DRCs) started as an outreach activity of the National Institutes/ALIMCO under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- These centres provided comprehensive services to persons with disabilities (PwDs) at the grass root level and facilitated capacity building at the district level.
- From the year 1999-2000, the DDRCs was established with active support from the State Governments, with the District Management Team headed by Collector acting as the convergence point.
- DDRCs are funded under the Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) from 2020-21 under which grants are released to State Governments and other bodies to support various activities for the welfare of the disabled.
- Objectives of setting up DDRCs: To provide rehabilitative support to PwDs through awareness generation, early intervention, counselling, etc.
- Number of DDRCs: All the districts, including left-wing extremism-affected districts, have been approved for setting up of DDRCs. Each DDRC must provide rehabilitation services to PwDs of the adjoining/neighbouring district if it does not have a DDRC.
Other findings of the panel:
- The government is yet to set up dedicated sports training facilities for Divyangjans. Out of 5 such facilities promised in 2014-15, only 1 has been approved so far at Gwalior.
- In 2021-22, only 16,000 students were paid pre-matric scholarships against 25,000 slots for PWDs.
Government’s reply to the panel’s findings:
- 269 DDRCs (those given funds at least once) have been set up across the country.
- To upscale their services, a MODEL DDRC has been conceptualised by the Department of Empowerment of PwD.
- There is an increase in the number of disabilities covered from 7 to 21 in 2018 as provided under the Rights of PwDs Act, 2016
- The revised guidelines for setting up the rest of the DDRCs would be implemented in 2022-23
- These centres are to be located near district hospitals and intervention centres
Way ahead: The government should lay down a proper roadmap with timelines for the establishment of the DDRCs in every targeted district.
● It is a Central Public Sector unit, working under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India.
● Incorporated in 1972, ALIMCO has been engaged in the manufacture and supply/distribution of Assistive Devices for PwDs.
Health inequities to be blamed for premature deaths among people with disabilities: WHO
Q. There have been various efforts towards securing a life of dignity for persons with disabilities (PwD). However, to be able to realise the goal of inclusiveness, it is imperative to involve persons with disabilities as equal partners in their development and decision-making. Comment. (250 words)