India Social Development Report 2016

  • With the objective of bridging the gap between the mainstream social rights activists and disability rights groups, the Council for Social Development released its India Social Development Report 2016, with the theme ‘Disability Rights Perspectives’. 
  • The report has focussed on the theme with the ultimate objective of persuading more and more people to dismantle boundaries between mainstream social rights activism and disability rights groups.

Highlights of the report: 

  • About 45% of all persons with disabilities (PWD) in India are illiterate. While 38% of all male PWDs were illiterate, the illiteracy rate was 55% for female PWDs. 
  • Each category of disability, a greater proportion of women in that category are illiterate than men, with 76% of women with multiple disabilities being illiterate. 
  • It estimated that of the 75 million children of primary school age who are out of school, “one-third is children with disabilities.” 
  • The number of PWDs in India at 26.8 million, or 2.2% of the population, noting that this might be an underestimate.
  • The World Bank had put the number at 4-8% of the population.
  • Men formed 56% of the PWDs, and 70% of the disabled population was rural. 
  • Movement disability accounted for the largest number of PWDs, followed by hearing disability and visual impairment.
  • The report noted that the high incidence of polio in India may be responsible for the high proportion of movement disability. 
  • While movement disability accounted for 20% of all disabled children, of the 2 million children in the agegroup of 0 to 6 who were disabled, it was down to 9%. This difference could be due to the effectiveness of the polio immunisation program, the report said. 
  • 64% of the PWDs in India were non-workers. Of the rest, the majority were only able to find employment as casual labourer or agricultural labourer.
  • Among the States, Tamil Nadu had the least terrible record in providing employment for the PWDs, with 59% of the PWDs being non-workers. 
  • At the national level, only 2% of the PWDs were enrolled in any vocational course, with the highest rate of enrolment being in Kerala, where 5% were enrolled in vocational courses. 
  • Lack of social services and transport were the top obstacles to the PWDs accessing health care facilities.

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