RIGHTS OF DISABLED PERSONS IN INDIA
Persons with disabilities are one of the most neglected sections of our nation. This is due to the sheer indifference of the society which subjects such people to disapproval and antipathy. Such people have several rights under various Indian laws as well as UN conventions that are followed in India. Under section 2(i) of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995,"disability" includes blindness, low vision, leprosy cured, hearing impairment, locomotor disability, mental retardation and mental illness.However, not many such persons are aware of their rights and infact are a far cry away from availing them. Here are a few basic rights that the Person & with Disabilities are entitled to:
1. Disability Certificate
It is the most basic document that a disabled person should possess in order to avail certain benefits and concessions. The State Medical Boards established under the State governments can issue a disability certificate to any person with more than 40% disability. The concerned person can visit the nearest hospital and will be issued the certificate after the checkup and determination of percentage of disability. The certificate is valid for five years and can be renewed if the disability is temporary and valid for the entire lifetime in case of permanent disability.
2. Train Concession
Persons with disability are entitled to certain concession in the amount of train tickets bought at the railway counter or online. A photo ID card is required for availing this benefit. The
disabled person has to approach the nearest Divisional Railway Manager Office with all the required documents (list provided on the website of The Indian Railways) and a passport size
photo. The person will then be issued the photo ID card through which he could avail concessions on train tickets without any hassel. In some states, such persons can also avail bus
ticket concession under State government bus service by showing the disability certificate to the conductor.
3. Disability Pension
People who are above 18 years of age, suffering with more than 80% disability and are living below the poverty line are entitled to the disability pension under the Indira Gandhi National
Disability Pension Scheme. Various NGOs are dedicated to this cause i.e. they help such persons with disabilities to get their disability pension.
4. Legal Guardianship Certificate
Persons with certain disabilities like cerebral palsy, mental retardation etc are in a special situation and would not be able to take important legal decisions once they become adults.
Hence a Legal Guardianship Certificate is issued to such disabled person which makes another person his legal guardian who thereby is entitled to take all legal decisions on behalf of the
disabled person even after he becomes an adult i.e. completes 18 years of age.
5. Income Tax Concession
Under sections 80DD and 80U of Income Tax Act, 1961, persons with disabilities are also entitled to certain income tax concessions.
In government jobs, 3% of the seats are reserved for persons with disabilities.
7. Also, there are various other rights to which persons with disabilities are entitled. These are provided under The Mental Health Act , 1987, The Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 and The National Trust for Welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities Act, 1999.
The Rights of persons with disabilities bill, 2014, which is an enhancement of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, is still pending in the Rajya Sabha. This bill proposes various provisions for strengthening the rights of the disabled. One change for example is that the bill introduced 19 categories of disabilities instead of 7 as in the present act. Moreover, the Central government plans to start a scheme under which every disabled person will be provided with a unique identity card which will be valid throughout India and not just in the respective states.
Hence there are numerous rights which the persons with disabilities can avail. There are multiple NGOs working for this cause.The need of the hour is to sensitize the society regarding
such people and to enlighten the disabled about their rights so that they can live their lives with dignity.
1. http://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/the-right- of-persons- with-disabilities- bill-2014- 3122/
2. http://vikaspedia.in/education/parents-corner/guidelines- for-parents- of-children- with-
disabilities/legal-rights- of-the- disabled-in- india
5. Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995
6. The Income Tax Act, 1961
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Authored By: Pushpita Dutta
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