Friday, May 25, 2012

National Conference on Livlihoods for Persons with Disability

KM Acharya, Secretary Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has reiterated that much progress can be achieved in disability sector if Government and Private organisation work together. Shri Acharya was inaugurating National Conference on Livelihoods for Persons with Disability organized by the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons of Disabilities (CCPD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and other partner organisation here today. Keeping in view the issues of people with disabilties Shri Acharya said a separate department for Person with Disability has already been formed on 14 May, 2012 which would be headed by Secretary-rank officer and will work along with the department of social justice under the Ministry.

The Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Mukul Wasnik whose address to the conference was read in-absentia,stressed upon the need for providing education and training to the disable people. "As per NSSO surveys 2002, only a small percentage of persons with disabilities were employed and had studied higher secondary or above. This shows that there is a huge task of providing appropriate education and training to Persons with Disabilities to make them employable," he said. Observing that effective inclusion of disabled people in the present work force is a pre-requisite of inclusive growth in the country, he said, "This will require very effective and coordinated efforts and convergence among various stakeholders in the Government, corporate and civil society,”.

 Wasnik expressed confidence that all the stakeholders in this area would come up with new innovative ideas for generating livelihood options for disabled people. On amendments in the Disabilities Act as per United Nation Convention, he said, "In view of developments over last one and half decade and the approach of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, government has decided to draft a new legislation for empowerment of Persons with Disability in harmony with the UN Convention."

Chief Commissioner for Person with Disability Shri P.K Pincha while addressing the gathering emphasised on the need for exploring inherent and hidden potential of people with disability. He also stressed upon recognising their abilities and running massive training campaigns and sessions to make them more skilled.

On this occasion a web portal Jobability was also launched to generate awareness on available employment opportunities of disabled people and support candidates to build links with local employers and community stake holders in order to access training and opportunity for wage and self employment. The portal will also have online training programme to enhance their skill further.

As per the 2001 Census, there were 21.90 million Persons with Disability in the country which is 2.1 per cent of the total population. While 74.80 per cent of these people are located in rural areas, rest 25.20 per cent live in urban and semi-urban locations. Literacy rate of disabled people was estimated at 49.31 per cent and only 34.54 per cent were engaged in some kind of employment.