Noting that quota for the disabled in jobs, education and poverty alleviation schemes remains under-utilised, a UN report has recommended adopting a uniform eligibility definition across departments and filling the backlog in vacancies.
“While three percent of employment and livelihood schemes are reserved for Persons with Disabilities (PwD), available data reveals that this reservation is not fully utilised in most states excepting in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh”, said the report by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which was released today.
Commissioned by Planning Commission and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the report on ‘Livelihood Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities’ has prepared a comprehensive overview of the issues of disabled people and the opportunities available to them.
“This study supported by UNDP focuses on building a scientific knowledge base towards implementing larger scale, sustained and more effective interventions to improve the livelihood options of PwD in India in the coming years,” Planning Commission Member Narendra Jadhav said.
He also said the report will prove to be useful in preparing schemes for PwD in the forthcoming Five Year Plan.
Recommending measures to improve livelihood opportunities for the PwD, the report has suggested adopting a uniform definition of disability across all government department and other organisations.
“There is a need to standardise and adopt a uniform definition of disability across government departments, policies and civil society organisation,” it said.
Referring to the report of Sub Group on Economic Empowerment of PwDs, it also said that “concerted effort should be made to address the backlog of vacancies in all Ministries, departments and PSUs at both central and state levels,” it said.
The report has also found out a gap of “11.69 per cent in literacy rate between general population and PwD” and suggests that employment rate4s for “PwD are lower than the general population“.
Addressing a gathering after the relase of the report, Jadhav said that the “Approach paper of the 12th Five Year Plan envisages an inclusive approach towards PwD and promised special attention to differently-abled people.”
The report also underlines that people living with disabilities are amongst the most impoverished in the country and stated that the skills and potential of most people living with disability remain untapped, under-utilised or under developed.