This is a smart move and a one-of-its-kind. Officials in India are all geared up to start the process of implementing a project to provide a unique ID card to persons with disabilities (PwDs). The aim for this move is to create a national data base that will enable the government to have real time information on their level of education, income and employment status.
- “Data and statistics on persons with disabilities are key to their inclusion in the implementation of the Agenda 2030,” said Vinod Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in United Nations yesterday.
- He said the Indian government is in the process of implementing the ‘Unique ID for Persons with Disabilities’ project with a view to create a national data base for persons with disabilities, and issue them an unique ID card.
- “This would also enable the government to have genuine and real time data on disability covering various aspects such as level of education, income, employment status,” he said, adding that the government has also decided to establish the first Central University for Disability Studies and Research in Kerala.
- Mr Aggarwal said the explicit inclusion of persons with disabilities in the global vision of the people-centric, universal and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a “significant” achievement for the international community.
- “Disability is recognised as a consequence and cause of poverty. Eradication of poverty, the overarching objective of the Agenda 2030, will remain a distant dream without fully realising their potential and contribution in the vision of sustainable development,” he said.
- Mr Aggarwal noted that an estimated billion people out of the world’s population are disabled and 80 per cent of them live in the developing world.
- About 27 million persons with disabilities live in India, constituting about two per cent of its population.
- He said India is in the process of harmonising the main legislation of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and a new bill ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill’ is under consideration in the Parliament.
- “The proposed law will increase the rights and entitlements for persons with disabilities, protect them from discrimination, facilitate mainstreaming, access to care and treatment and also strengthen enforcement mechanisms,” he said.
- Mr Aggarwal stressed that the empowerment of persons with disabilities is an inter-disciplinary process, covering various aspects like early detection, intervention, education, vocational training, rehabilitation, accessibility and social integration.