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Government Implements RPwD Act 2016

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Social Justice

 

Source: PIB

 Context: The Government of India has implemented the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016 to establish accessibility standards for persons with disabilities.

What are accessibility standards for persons with disabilities?

Accessibility standards for persons with disabilities refer to guidelines and regulations that aim to ensure equal access and participation for individuals with disabilities in various environments and services. These standards cover different aspects of accessibility—Physical environment, transportation, information and communication, technology, and public facilities.

 

Status of Persons with Disabilities in India:

There are about 2.68 crore (2.21% of the population) people with disabilities in India according to the 2011 census of India.

 

About the Accessibility standards for persons with disabilities:

AspectAccessibility Standards
Aim Provide access to medical services for persons with disabilities—Preventive, curative and rehabilitative.
BarriersLimited access to quality education, low employment rates, and inadequate healthcare services.
Key Aspects of accessibility standards
Physical EnvironmentE.g., Ramps and accessible entrances; Barrier-free pathways and accessible parking spaces; Elevators and lifts for vertical accessibility
TransportationAccessible buses, trains, and stations; Wheelchair ramps and lifts; Audible and visual announcements
Information and CommunicationAccessible formats for printed materials; Captioning and audio descriptions for audio-visual content; Accessible websites and digital platforms
TechnologyScreen reader compatibility; Keyboard accessibility; Alternative text for images
The initiative taken by India
Conventions·        India has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

·        India is a signatory to the Biwako Millennium Framework and the Declaration on Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asia Pacific Region.

·        Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific.

 

Constitutional ·        Article 41 of DPSP: State shall make effective provisions in cases of disablement.

·        7th schedule: The subject of ‘relief of the disabled and unemployable’ is specified in the state list of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.

LegislationRights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 increased the number of disabilities from 7 conditions to 21; Accessible India Campaign;
Shift in AttitudeFocus on disabilities has been shifted from the individual to society, i.e., from a medical model of disability to a social or human rights model of disability.
Institute Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre and the National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation, have been established
TechnologyUnique Disability Identification Portal; BIS standard IS 17802, focuses on accessibility requirements for ICT products and services

 

Measures needed:

  • Strengthen preventive health programs, including early screening for all children, as demonstrated by Kerala’s successful Comprehensive Newborn Screening (CNS) programme
  • Embrace a Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) approach to maximize the abilities of individuals with disabilities
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of disability through social campaigns that challenge stigmas and stereotypes.
  • Encourage inclusiveness by transitioning individuals from special schools to mainstream environments, promoting a diverse range of influences and interactions.

 

Insta Links

75 Years: Laws that Shaped India- The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

 

Mains Links

Though the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 was a landmark step but much is left to be desired to achieve inclusivity and accessibility for the disabled. Examine. (250 Words)

 

Prelims Links:

India is home to lakhs of persons with disabilities. What are the benefits available to them under the law? (UPSC 2011)

  1. Free schooling till the age of 18 years in government-run schools.
  2. Preferential allotment of land for setting up business.
  3. Ramps in public buildings.

 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Ans: D