Rights of the Differently Abled in India: Law, Cases & the Reality
22 Pages Posted: 19 May 2013
Date Written: May 18, 2013
Many, if not most, differently-abled persons are hidden away, stigmatised, and hardly exist in any official way, according to statistics and the community. The number of people with disabilities in India is substantial and likely to grow; disability does not “go away” as countries get richer. Persons with disability are most neglected lot not only in the society but also in the family and more often an object of pity. There are hardly any meaningful attempts to assimilate them in the mainstream of the nation‟s life. The apathy towards their problem is so pervasive that even the number of the disabled persons existing in the country is not well documented. People with disabilities in India are subject to deprivation in many dimensions of their lives. Social attitudes and stigma play an important role in limiting the opportunities of disabled people for full participation in social and economic life, often even within their own families. India has one of the more progressive disability policy frameworks in the developing world. However, there remain huge challenges in operationalizing the policy framework. In the existing scenario of indifference the number of such persons is surging and their problems are mounting. Since the 1990s India has slowly awakened to the rights of the disabled population and started shedding its traditional largesse approach. The “disability legislations” which came together were a culmination of a long, tenacious, struggle for rights and marked a hard-earned victory for the disabled population of the country. It however, took them a while – a few years – to realize that their struggle was far from over.This paper shall therefore look at the status of the persons with disability in India in terms of the legal framework, the role of the judiciary and the reality that persists.
Keywords: differently-abled, legal regimes, social attitudes
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