Thursday, November 29, 2007

People with Disability - A Neglected Group

Disabled people are the most neglected and the most excluded group in India. Here are a few facts from the recent World Bank Report - People with Disabilities in India :-
  • Children with disabilities are 5 times more likely to be out of school than average
  • Employment of People with Disability(PWD) among large private firms was only 0.3% of the workforce in the late 1990s. Among the multinational companies, it is far worse with only 0.05% being PWD. Remember... this is the situation when at least one in twelve households has a member with disability.
  • 50% of Households still believe the disability to be a "curse of God" resulting in social stigma against PWD
  • Low Educational Attainment, Poor Employment Prospects (Employment rate among PWD fell from 43% in 1991 to 38% in 2002 n the midst of high economic growth) and stigma mean that PWD and their households are notably worse off than average
Sad thing is that even economic growth cannot alter the situation of PWD since economic growth can neither decrease the number of disabled nor provide them with employment prospects.Even simple tasks like traveling or entering a building is quite tough since these group of people are never taken into account while planning or construction. In fact none of the buildings in IIM - Indore are PWD friendly.

It is time we moved from just commitments to outcomes based implementation to bring out a difference in the lives of 40 to 80 million Indians with disability.

"The problem is not how to wipe out the differences but how to unite with the differences intact - Rabindranath Tagore


Sreeram N said...

Hi Robin,

While it's true that most of the public buildings are not easily accessible to PWD, some effort is definitely being taken in this direction though at snail's pace. For eg, while many railway stations are being made PWD accessible, the trains are still not.

I'd also like to point out the fact that our insti buildings are PWD friendly, but our classrooms aren't! But we still have some way to go for that to happen.. :)

Robin said...

@ Sreeram,
That is what the whole issue is about.. We have one of the best policies among the developing nations.. But in action, we are at snail's pace..

Regarding institutes, think how many of the rest rooms could be used by PWD? You will get the answer whether our institutes are PWD friendly...