Showing posts with label Citizen with Disabilities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Citizen with Disabilities. Show all posts

Thursday, February 10, 2011

UID Number and Inclusion of Disability

Dear Friends,

Many persons with disabilities and their families in India have placed high hopes from the UID Number that is being rolled out by Government of India through UIDIAI – an attached office with Planning Commission of India headed by Shri Nandan Nilekani.

Prevailing Confusion in Disability Sector

However, there is a mass scale ignorance about its form and purpose. People have been debating that they would prefer one unifying card in form of UID which will save them from carrying hundred cards like Disability Card, PAN Card, and Voter Card etc. There has been a discussion even about the Pros and Cons of declaring disability on this card while many wanting to have it on the UID.  In fact, few even expressed that they were confused on whether to declare or not one’s disability fearing bias and discrimination. While one person with disability may be able to create good impression over others and positively change attitudes with his ability however, majority of disabled people who have not been fortunate enough to receive good education, this also might work contrary. More so when the societies have a tendency to look at the half empty glass rather than the half filled! 


I  thought to clarify few things which might come handy to those who want to know more about the UID for persons with disabilities. Please note that no data is being collected about disability by the UID enumerators.

First of all the UID is not a card but a unique number. It is also not to tag people on grounds of caste, creed, disability, family, language or even citizenship! Most ministries or people who opposed UID thought that it would be another Card - like Ration Card/Voter ID/Disability card or PAN Card etc. and started looking at it from their own profit/loss perspective.

However, UID is entirely for different purposes and stands on total scientific footing. This is a 12 digit number to identify every human being including an infant (newly born) residing in India, whether or not he has any identification document. This is completely voluntary and not forced upon people as of now. The information being collected for UID includes name, date of birth, father’s name / mother’s name/ guardian/ address, iris scan, fingers and thumb scan etc. while email and mobile numbers have been kept optional.

However, it is expected that gradually every resident will prefer to have this number for it provides a universal identity carrying demographic and biometric identity which cannot be duplicated. Today one person with slight changes in name or address or surname can create multiple numbers of Voter I-Cards or PAN Cards. Therefore, the unique ID Number will actually help identifying a person for all other documents such as ration card, disability card, passport, bank account etc and not be an overriding document.

Also unlike other documents which are accessible to public and private agencies, the Information available with UID will not be available to private and public agencies. In coming days, this number will surely help the persons with disabilities too in availing lot of benefits. Today it is voluntary; the day will come when everyone would crave to have this number. The government seems to have purposefully decided to tread cautiously to achieve success of this project and not antagonize the existing structures.

Hoping that each person with disability in India voluntary applies for a UID number for this is in his own interest and that all benefits, rights and schemes for equalizing the opportunities of empowerment come right to their doors, to their bank accounts, to them and are not leaked on the way to vested interests.


Subhash Chandra Vashishth
Advocate-Disability Rights

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CWG Tickets for disabled sold out, but no disabled spectator found!

Dear Friends,

Disabled don't even come on their thought radar forget about taking affirmative actions. The event management agencies, government departments who plan events and similarly placed authorities need to take in to account the accessibility needs when they are planning any such event.

"Tickets Sold" is an easy answer to escape their duties but it is not sustainable in long run. The CWG is answerable to public as to where did the tickets go when no disabled spectators were seen in the events. Either these tickets were sold out to non-disabled spectators at a premium by vested interests or were just thrown away to in scrap only to be picked up the scrap dealer! This is height of non-accountability.

Click here to read from source: One token ticket booth for them no fair play

NEW DELHI: Getting a ticket for any Commonwealth Games event is a challenge. And, to get a ticket in the disabled category is a bigger challenge as the only counter at STC Building on Tolstoy Marg is not disabled-friendly. Parved Ahmed, who had gone to STC building to buy a ticket for the power lifting event in the para-sports category, said there was no special parking facility for disabled people. ''They asked us to park at the NDMC parking near Palika Bazaar as parking at the building is reserved for offices,'' he said. 

The ramp outside the building is too steep and no person on wheelchair can climb it without assistance. Even if one manages to reach the building, getting to the ticket counter is next to impossible for any disabled person. There is no separate counter for disabled people at the IRCTC office in STC building. ''They asked us to go inside the office. The doors are narrow and one can't take the wheelchair inside. For people like us, they should have made a counter outside, where we can easily take our wheelchair,'' said Suverna, who had come for tickets for the table tennis competition. 

Like Ahmed and Suverna, there are many people who are facing problems getting tickets for various events. ''We had to buy general category tickets for the swimming competition as we were told that tickets for disabled people have been sold. But to our surprise, the entire stand for disabled people was empty. If tickets are sold out, then where are the spectators?'' asked a spectator, Pradeep. 

NGOs working for the welfare of disabled people are also upset. ''Why can't disabled people buy tickets at the Games venues? There is no information for them at any venue,'' said Javed Abidi, honorary director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP). 

NCPEDP is planning to ask the Delhi government and organising committee to involve NGOs in the smooth distribution of tickets. ''If they want, we can help them in arranging things for disabled people,'' said Abidi.

Read more: One token ticket booth for them no fair play - The Times of India

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Census of India-2011 to determine the correct number of Citizen with Disabilities

Dear friends,

So far the citizens with disability in India have been getting a raw deal in terms of budgetary allocation in the annual budgets as well as the five year plans. Despite 3% reservation mandate in the Persons with Disabilities Act-1995, in all Government schemes, the confusion had prevailed whether it is only of a particular ministry or a scheme or the overall budget of each ministry.

While the disability groups have been claiming later and also Govt. of India agreeing to it to a greater extent this year which manifest in the almost double allocation for Disability in the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Govt of India - which is seen as pro-disability move of the Congress Government, however, this alone is not sufficient because of the simple reason that the head count undertaken in Census 2001 was highly unreliable according to the activists. And the budget allocation still continues on the old 2.13% figure!

Later years we have seen conflicting reports on the head count from NSSO, World Bank Report in 2007 and WHO estimates as well as the "70 Million" claim of disability rights activists. The disability numbers from various other developing and developed nations indicates that there was some systemic error in the head count done in Census 2001.

Whatever may be the reason, but the end sufferer has been the common citizen with disability. The country could not plan for this uncounted segment and they continue to live in penury without any state support for many for the welfare and empowerment schemes are based on the old & unreliable estimates. Often there are situations of conflict within the sector to lay claim on the little amount budgeted & available for their empowerment. Therefore, this time around the Disability Sector doesn't want to leave any room for such blunders that happened ten years ago.

They have taken up this task which is well timed. The idea is to look at the systemic lacunae in the way research statistics are collected. Right Questionnaire being administered by right and trained people is a must to get any reliable statistics. The training gain significance when the country is as huge as India with 2.7 million people going door-to-door for data collection!

We hope the master trainers sensitized and trained on the data collection mechanism and the questionnaire suggested by the Disability Sector will set ball rolling towards a more disabled friendly Census in India in the coming year.

SC Vashishth

Here is the news item from IANS. Click here to read from source: 2011 census to probe how many are disabled

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) If all goes well, the 2011 census will refine its questionnaire in a bid to determine how many to Indians really suffer from disability.

The 2001 census came up with a figure of 2.13 percent of the Indian population. This, experts say, is way off the mark.  And since government schemes are based on statistics, it is important to get the estimates right.

As a first step, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), an NGO, Monday convened a meeting with various stakeholders to frame questions to determine the size of the disabled population while conducting the census.

C. Chandramouli, the registrar general and census commissioner of India, said he would present the questions to the technical advisory committee for approval.

'Despite a sizeable disabled population, the 1991 census did not have any statistic on it. In 2001, after year-long consultations with NGOs, at the very last moment one question on disability was included in the census,' said Javed Abidi, the NCPEDP director.

But the 2.7 million primary school teachers conducting the census were not trained to handle the question. Nor did they have enough knowledge on disability. So the census showed that only 2.13 percent of the population suffered from disability, he added.

A UN study says 10 percent of all developing countries' population suffer from some disability. A later independent study by the NCPEDP showed that six-seven percent of the Indian population was disabled.

'This meant that while the government officially recognises 20-30 million disabled people, 50-60 million are invisible. This is serious, especially because all government schemes are based on statistics. Therefore, we have decided to help the census commission frame questions to help evaluate the correct population of the disabled,' Abidi said.

The questions, Abidi said, will be such that all categories of disability like autism will be included and not just visual and hearing disabilities. Also, members of the NCPEDP would have a special interactive session with 725 master trainers on the subject.

The master trainers will in turn train 54,000 trainers, who will train the 2.7 million people who will go door-to-door conducting the survey.