India, being a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), recognizes the importance of providing financial resources and benefits to individuals with disabilities. These resources aim to promote their social inclusion, economic independence, and overall well-being.
Narayan Seva Sansthan is one of the organizations which operates numerous centers across the country, offering free medical treatments, surgeries, and assistive devices to those in need. Additionally, the organization runs special schools and skill development programs to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive quality education and vocational training, enhancing their potential for employment and self-reliance.
1: Social Security Schemes for People with Disabilities
1.1. The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
The NSAP is a flagship social welfare program by the Indian government aimed at providing financial assistance to vulnerable sections of society, including people with disabilities. The two main components under this scheme are the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS) and the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS). Under IGNDPS, individuals with disabilities receive a monthly pension, ensuring a basic income for sustenance.
1.2. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY)
Launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, RVY provides free assistive devices such as hearing aids, wheelchairs, and walking sticks to senior citizens, including those with disabilities. This scheme aims to enhance their mobility and overall quality of life.
2: Tax Benefits for People with Disabilities
2.1. Income Tax Exemptions
People with disabilities can avail tax exemptions under 80U and 80DD of the Income Tax Act. Under 80U, individuals with disabilities can claim a deduction if they suffer from a disability of not less than 40%. 80DD allows tax deductions for expenses incurred on the medical treatment and maintenance of dependents with disabilities.
2.2. Custom Duty Concessions
Persons with disabilities can also benefit from custom duty concessions on certain assistive devices and appliances. This exemption aims to make assistive technology more affordable and accessible for them.
3: Education and Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
3.1. Scholarships and Financial Aid for Education
To promote education among people with disabilities, the government and various organizations offer scholarships and financial aid. Schemes like the National Scholarship Scheme for Persons with Disabilities provide financial support to pursue higher education.
3.2. Reservation in Government Jobs
The Indian government has reserved specific quotas for people with disabilities in government jobs, making it easier for them to access employment opportunities. The reservation percentages vary across different categories of disabilities.
4: Accessible Housing and Infrastructure
4.1. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
Under PMAY, people with disabilities can apply for affordable housing and avail subsidies on home loans. The scheme aims to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to safe and accessible housing.
4.2. Accessibility Standards in Public Infrastructure
To enhance accessibility, the government has introduced guidelines for the construction and design of public buildings, transportation, and facilities. This ensures that people with disabilities can move freely and independently in public spaces.
5: Rehabilitation and Skill Development Programs
5.1. Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)
The DDRS aims to empower people with disabilities by providing them with various rehabilitation services. This includes early intervention for children with disabilities, special schools, vocational training, and community-based rehabilitation programs. These initiatives help individuals with disabilities acquire skills and expertise, increasing their chances of employment and self-sufficiency.
5.2. Skill India Mission
As part of the Skill India Mission, the government has introduced programs specifically designed to train and upskill people with disabilities. These initiatives focus on imparting vocational skills aligned with the capabilities and interests of individuals with disabilities, enabling them to find suitable employment or pursue entrepreneurial ventures.
6: Health Insurance and Medical Assistance
6.1. Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)
PMJAY provides health insurance coverage for vulnerable sections of society, including people with disabilities. Under this scheme, individuals can access cashless treatment for a range of medical conditions at empaneled hospitals across India, easing the financial burden of healthcare expenses.
6.2. Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids/Appliances (ADIP)
The ADIP scheme aims to provide financial assistance to people with disabilities for the purchase of assistive devices like hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, and orthopedic appliances. This initiative enables individuals to lead more independent lives and participate actively in society.
7: Legal Rights and Protection
7.1. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPwD Act)
The RPwD Act of 2016 replaced the earlier Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights, and Full Participation) Act. This comprehensive legislation addresses various issues concerning people with disabilities, including education, employment, accessibility, and non-discrimination. The Act ensures that the rights of individuals with disabilities are protected and enforced, promoting their overall well-being.
7.2. National Trust Act
The National Trust Act establishes a National Trust that works towards the welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and multiple disabilities. The trust provides various support services, financial assistance, and legal guardianship for people with disabilities who are unable to care for themselves.
In India, several financial resources and benefits have been implemented to empower people with disabilities, fostering their inclusion in society. From social security schemes to tax benefits, educational and employment opportunities, and accessible infrastructure, the government strives to create an enabling environment for the disabled community. However, there is still much progress to be made in terms of awareness, implementation, and ensuring equal opportunities for all individuals with disabilities across the country.