Legal Rights and Facilities

LAWS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

 Persons with disabilities have rights as citizens of the country. They are protected by the Constitution of India and all other laws that are applicable to everyone in the country. In addition, there are special laws that are designed to address some specific needs that may arise.

India is also a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [UNCRPD] that spells out the rights that ought to be extended to people with disabilities.  

Rights of children with disabilities are also covered under the Convention on the Rights of Children [ CRC ].

Thus there are various devices that are available to persons with disabilities to ensure that they have access to their rights.

SOME OF THE SPECIAL LAWS IN INDIA THAT ADDRESS THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

1  The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities 1999 

2   The Persons with Disabilities Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation Act 1995

3  The Rehabilitation Council of India Act

4  The Mental Health Act

 

THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR THE WELFARE OF PERSONS WITH AUTISM, CEREBRAL PALSY, MENTAL RETARDATION AND MULTIPLE DISABILITIES 1999 

The National Trust Act covers persons with four disabilities. These are:

 > Mental Retardation or Intellectual Disability, 

> Autism,

> Cerebral Palsy and

> Multiple Disabilities.

 In this Act, ‘Multiple Disability,’ means a combination of two or more of the following disabilities- Blindness, Low Vision, Leprosy Cured, Hearing Impairment, Locomotor Disability, Mental Retardation and Mental Illness.

 The Main Objectives of the National Trust for persons with disabilities:

 The National Trust Act gives due importance and recognition to persons with disabilities. They have been invested with decision making powers. Persons with disabilities are part of the local level committee that has the power to decide whether or not to appoint a guardian.     

For Persons with disabilities, the Act aims to :

 -Enable and empower them to live independently and fully while strengthening facilities and providing support to live within their own families.

 -Provide for the appointment of guardians if required 

- To facilitate the realization of equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation. 

The National Trust gives importance to Parents and Parent Associations.

 -They are appointed to the Board of the National Trust. 

-Members of parent associations are also appointed to the Local Level Committees that look into the appointment of guardians for persons with disabilities.

-Registered parent associations can apply for funding for setting up facilities for persons with disabilities.

   GUARDIANSHIP 

 Guardianship is a system where a person is appointed for the care of a person with disability and his property or for the maintenance of the person, after the age of 18.

A legally appointed guardian can take all legal decisions on behalf of the person.                                                

Besides this, The National Trust Act has started various Schemes. These Schemes benefit people with disabilities [ex. Scheme for Scholarship, Arunim- a marketing enterprise …]

 THE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES, PROTECTION OF RIGHTS AND FULL PARTICIPATION ACT 1995           

 The Persons with Disabilities Act incorporates facilities that persons with disabilities are entitled to and the responsibilities and obligations placed on the government, public and private sector enterprises.

 The Act :

- extends Rights to people with disabilities,

- enables them to have equal opportunities and 

 - supports and enables full participation as productive and contributing citizens.

 The Persons with Disabilities Act covers persons with the following seven disabilities:

 -Blindness

-Low Vision

-Leprosy Cured

-Hearing Impairment

-Locomotor Disability

-Mental Retardation and

-Mental Illness.

 Main provisions:  The Persons with Disabilities Act provides for :

-          Free education for children with disabilities upto the age of 18.

-          3% reservation in employment in the government sector for persons with physical disability, hearing impairment and vision impairment.

-          Creation of barrier free environment

-          Social security and unemployment allowance.

-          It talks about prevention and early identification of disabilities.

 DISABILITY CERTIFICATE:

The Persons with Disabilities Act lays down the procedure for getting a disability certificate. This is the most important document for all persons with disabilities as all other documents and facilities can only be accessed based on this.

                                                           THE REHABILITATION COUNCIL OF INDIA ACT, 1992 OR THE RCI ACT

 The RCI Act governs professionals working in the field of disability and organizations that train professionals.

 Main provisions:

 It regulates the training of rehabilitation professionals i.e. Professionals working in the field of disability in India.

 The Act lays down educational qualifications, code of ethics and professional conduct required by special educators, physiotherapists, audiologists and other rehabilitation professionals.

 All professionals working in the field of disability have to register with the RCI.

 The RCI also recognizes institutes and courses for training of professionals.

                                                           THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT, 1987

This Act covers persons with mental illness.

 Main provisions:

 The Act lays down guidelines for : 

 -   Protection of rights of persons with mental illness during treatment

-    For admission to psychiatric hospitals for treatment

-    Legal aid

-    Guardianship and custody

-    Provisions for mentally ill prisoners

  SCHEMES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

 1    SCHEMES OFFERED BY THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

2    SCHEMES OFFERED BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT

3    SCHEMES OFFERED BY THE NATIONAL TRUST

  SCHEMES OFFERED BY THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT 

 - Rail travel concession

 -Air travel concession:  (Indian airlines)

 -Allotment of PCO /STD booth

 -The National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation  (NHFDC):  Provides loans to Persons with disabilities including persons with Autism, Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Disabilities.

                                                                     SCHEMES OFFERED BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT

  Each state has its own set of schemes. For specific information you may require to check with the state welfare department or an organisation working in the state.

 The schemes listed here are applicable in the state of Delhi only.

 -Travel Concession: Bus

-Unemployment Allowance

-Scholarships for students with disability in Junior school

-Scholarships for Persons with disability beyond Class IX

- Pension for Persons with disability who are above 18 years

   SCHEMES OFFERED BY THE NATIONAL TRUST

 There are many schemes that are extended by the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.

 -Niramaya – A Health Insurance Scheme

-Uddyam Prabha (Incentive) Scheme 

- Gyan  Prabha (Scholarship) Scheme