Disability Act

Schemes & Facilities provided by Central & State Government:

The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights And Full Participation) Act, 1995

Summary & purpose of the act:

The purpose of this Act which was made law in 1996 (Gazette No.1 of 1996) is to fix responsibilities on the Central and State Government to the extent of their resources permit, to provide services, create facilities and give support to people with disabilities in order to enable them to have equal opportunities in participating as productive and contributing citizens of this country to the fullest extent their abilities. It fixes its responsibilities on the Governments (Centre and State) to ensure that disabilities do not prevent individual citizens of this country from living a full life and making full contribution each in accordance with his/her ability.

This Act provides a frame within which specific demands can be made by the disabled people in order to ensure that the promise made in this Act are honoured by the Government.

Chapter I - Preliminary

In chapter 1, legal definitions of the terms used in the Act are given. Disability means blindness, low vision, leprosy-cured, hearing impairment, Locomotor disability, mental retardation and mental illness.

  1. Blindness – No vision at all
  2. Low vision – Person capable of execution of a task with appropriate assistive devices.
  3. Leprosy cured – cured but loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the eye and eye lid OR manifest deformity, but sufficiently mobile to do normal economic activity or extreme physical deformity and can not do any gainful occupation.
  4. Hearing Impairment – Loss of 60 decibels or more in the conversational range of frequencies.
  5. Locomotor Disability – Disability of the bone joints or muscles leading to substantial restriction of limb movements or any of cerebral palsy.
  6. Mental Illness – Any mental disorder other than mental retardation
  7. Mental Retardation – Condition of arrested or incomplete development of the mind of a person.

A person with disability has to be certified by a medical authority that he or she is suffering from not less than 40% of the disability.

Chapter II - The Central Co-ordination Committee

In the purpose of this Act, the Central Government shall constitute a Central Co-ordination Committee (CCC), headed by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The Central Co-ordination Committee consists of 39 persons, 34 will be official members and five nominated by the Government, will represent NGOs and associations concerned with disabilities. Among the five, inclusion of at least one women and one person from SC or ST is envisaged. The term of all the members will be for three years.

The committee shall meet once every six months and the committee shall have a Central Executive Committee which shall carry out the decision of the Central Coordination Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet every three months.

The Central Executive Committee (CEC)

Central Executive Committee will consist of 23 persons, including 5 nominated by the Government, with a composition as laid down in CCC for the group.

The function of the Central Coordination Committee shall be the following

  1. review and coordinate the activities of Government, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations, which are dealing with matters relating to persons with disabilities;
  2. develop a national policy;
  3. advice the Central Government on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to disability;
  4. Advocacy with national, international organizations with a view to provide for schemes and projects for the disabled in the national and international plans and programmes;
  5. Review donor funding policies from the perspective of their impact on persons with disabilities;
  6. To ensure barrier free environment;
  7. Monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of persons with disabilities;
  8. To perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

    The Central Coordination Committee will be bound by such directions in writing as the Central Government may give it,

Chapter III - The State Coordination Committee

Identical to the Central Coordination Committee, each state shall appoint a State Coordination Committee, consisting of 23 official and 5 non-official members

The State Executive Committee will be akin to (similar to) its central counterpart with 13 official and 5 non official members.

The terms and conditions governing the State Committees shall be the same as those of the Central Coordination Committee, and the functions shall also be the same.

The State Coordination Committee shall be bound by such directions in writing as the Central Coordination Committee or as State Government may give it.

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