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National Resource Kit : The Kerala Chapter (Call for Comments)

Posted by Anandhi Viswanathan at Dec 31, 2012 02:00 AM |
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The National Resource Kit team is pleased to bring you its research on the state of laws, policies and programmes for persons with disabilities in the state of Kerala.

Note: The chapter is an early draft and will undergo subsequent modifications. We welcome comments and feedback from our readers.


  • Capital: Tiruvananthapuram
  • HDI Rank: 1st
  • Literacy: 1st in India with a literacy of 93.91 per cent
  • Population:33,387,677
  • Population of Persons with Disability: 2.7 per cent. The district of Malappuram has the highest number of persons with disabilities, followed by Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam.[1]

Ministries and Departments

  • Department of Social Welfare – responsible for protection of rights of persons with disabilities.
  • Directorate of Social Welfare (under Department of Social Welfare) – nodal authority that implements central and state government programmes in Kerala.

Government run Organisations

  • The Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation
  • The Commissionerate of Persons with Disabilities
  • The National Institute of Speech and Hearing
  • The Central Social Welfare Board

Legal Provisions

Kerala does not have a legislation specifically for persons with disabilities in the state but implements the central legislation – the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995. The state also issues various schemes, policies and notifications for persons with disabilities. The Department of Social Welfare has implemented some central and state schemes for persons with disabilities in the state,[2] while some schemes are being implemented by the Kerala State Handicapped Persons Welfare Corporation (KSHPWC).[3] These are listed below under various categories as:

  • Accessibility
  • The Department of Local Self Governance vide G.O. (MS) No.41/11/LSGD, Thiruvananthapuram, dated 14/02/2011 have issued rules for housing which also include special provisions for accommodation of the requirements of persons with disabilities. These include provision of ramps, lifts, convenient parking slots and removal of architectural barriers.
  • Personal mobility

Persons with disabilities with a regular and reasonable income and having to travel regularly on work are given a subsidy of Rs. 2000 linked with bank loan for procuring motorised tricycles / vehicles.[4]

  • KSHPWC supplies aids and appliances every three years to Persons with Disabilities with annual income less than Rs. 60,000 (see note 3). These include: artificial limbs, tricycles, wheelchairs, callipers, crutches, hearing aids, white canes, colostomy bags, etc. The beneficiaries are selected at medical camps held at district, block and panchayat levels.
  • Subsidy of Rs.10,000 is provided by KSHPWC to each self-employed young disabled person for procuring motorized tricycle upon applying in the proper format with attested copies of original bill, registration and insurance documents, and photographs (see note 3).
  • Education
  • Through the Kerala Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2010, the government provides free and compulsory education for children with disabilities until the age of 18. The rules also provide for inclusive education, special schools for severely disabled children, learning aids and appliances, training for special teachers and vocational training for children with disabilities.
  • Three seats are reserved for persons with disabilities in arts and science colleges and engineering colleges, nine seats are reserved in polytechnic colleges, five seats are reserved in ITIs, five per cent seats are reserved in junior technical colleges and 25 per cent seats are reserved for teachers in special schools (see note 4).
  • Scholarships are given to children with disabilities where annual income of parents is less than Rs. 24,000 at Rs. 30 per month for children in classes I – IV and Rs. 45 per month for children in classes V – VIII. For students in higher classes, scholarships are provided for day scholars and residential students with special allowance for readers. In addition to the scholarships, students with orthopaedic impairment are given Rs. 25 per month for maintenance of prosthetic / orthopaedic aids (at the recommendation of the head of the institution) and Rs. 50 per month as transportation allowance (see note 4).
  • Children with mental disabilities where the annual income of parents is less than Rs. 24,000 are given scholarships upto the age of 21 at the scale of Rs. 60 per month with dress allowance of Rs. 40 and school requisite allowance (see note 4).
  • The government runs two vocational training centres for persons with disabilities at Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode (see note 4).
  • Students with Disabilities who top their districts in the categories of Orthopaedic disability, speech and hearing impairment, visual impairment and mental retardation; in the SSLC and Higher Secondary exams are awarded Rs. 2,500 each. Awards of Rs. 5000 are given to state rank holders in the above categories (see note 3).
  • Health: Details of policies / schemes for health unavailable.
  • Rehabilitation: The state runs community based rehabilitation programmes and vocational training centres for persons with disabilities (see note 2).
  • Employment: The state provides three per cent reservation in classes I, II (videG.O. (RT) No. 291/2012/SWD dated, Thiruvananthapuram 20th June 2012), III and IV (vide G.O. (P)No.20/98/P&ARd dated, Thiruvananthapuram, 14 July, 1998) of state government jobs and PSUs. Three per cent reservation is also provided on part-time contingency posts and one per cent worker class vacancies in the government, corporations and companies are reserved for persons with disabilities (see note 4).
  1. An age relaxation of ten years on the upper age limit is provided to persons with disabilities for applying to government jobs. Upto 10 grace marks can be given to persons with disabilities at the discretion of the Public Service Commission for direct recruitment to various posts except those that are specifically excluded (see note 4).
  2. Persons with disabilities are allowed a special casual leave of 15 days for treating an illness that is directly connected with their disability vide G.O. (P) 249/84/Fin. Dated  9–5–84.
  3. Loans for self employment are being given to persons with disabilities by banks through KSHPWC for setting up self employment programmes. A subsidy of Rs. 2000 linked with the bank loan is given to each beneficiary (see note 4).
  4. KSHPWC channelizes loans from the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation to Persons with Disabilities at low interest rates for self-employment. Applicants must have at least 40 per cent disability and their family income should not exceed Rs. 3,00,000 for rural and Rs. 5,00,000 for urban applicants (see note 3).
  5. KSHPWC runs the following commercial units to provide employment to persons with disabilities (see note 4): Sowbhagya Department Store – Thiruvananthapuram, Sowbhagya Department Store – Kozhikode, Sowbhagya Extension Counter, MLA Quarters – Thiruvananthapuram, Photocopier Unit, MLA Quarters – Thiruvananthapuram, and Envelope Making Unit – Thiruvananthapuram.
  6. KSHPWC together with the Kerala State Lotteries Department implements the scheme through which disabled persons are identified throughout the state for undertaking agency for Lottery tickets and are given financial assistance of Rs. 5,000 for purchase and sale of lottery tickets.
  • Social Protection
  1. Persons with disabilities in the categories of vision impaired, hearing impaired and orthopaedically disabled whose annual family income does not exceed Rs.3,600 are given a disability pension of Rs.85 per month.
  2. Conveyance allowance of Rs.100 for vision impaired and locomotor disabled employees of aided schools and government departments and Rs.50 for part time employees are given vide G.O.(P) No. 521/87/Fin, dated 15.6.87.
  3. Free travel facility is provided to the vision impaired on buses and boats and for the locomotor disabled on buses. Persons with 50 per cent or more locomotor disabilities are given 70 per cent concession on private buses to travel upto 40 kilometres (see note 4).
  4. A distress relief fund has been created for persons with disabilities vide G.O. (MS) No. 4/95/SWD dated 24/1/95. A maximum amount of Rs. 2000 can be given for a case in a financial year and the amount can be extended to Rs. 8000 in exceptional cases. Persons with disabilities whose annual income does not exceed Rs. 12,000 can claim financial assistance for the following reasons (see note 4): for medical treatment including surgery, disability incurred due to an accident, any other purposes not covered by existing schemes for persons with disabilities, grant by the government under the grant-in-aid to persons with disabilities under the Deendayal Disabled Scheme (see note 2).
  5. Under the Rajiv One Million Housing Scheme (see note 4), one per cent of the houses constructed for the economically backward class have been reserved for persons with disabilities.
  6. KSHPWC operates a scheme for children who are below 8 years of age and have 60 per cent or more disability and whose parent’s have an annual income of less than Rs.60,000, the corporation deposits an amount of Rs. 15,000 for boys and Rs.20,000 for girls. The fund under this scheme is released after the child attains the age of 18 years for self-employment or marriage or as per requests after assessing the case. (see note 3).
  7. A scheme run by the state offers marriage assistance to women with disabilities and to daughters of Persons with Disabilities (see note 2).
  8. KSHPWC runs an old-age home for persons with disabilities at Parassala (see note 3).


  • Miscellaneous


  1. State awards of Rs. 3000 per head are given to outstanding and efficient employees among persons with disabilities (see note 4)
  2. Persons with disabilities are exempted from professional tax and road tax. They are given an additional income tax exemption of Rs. 5000 (see note 4).
  3. The state also gives grant-in-aid for voluntary organisations running homes for the disabled and financial assistance for advocates with orthopaedic or visual impairment (see note 2).

Government Orders

CategoryHeadlineIssuing AuthorityNumber & DateBriefs
Employment Public Services Reservations for Physically Handicapped Persons – three per cent reservation for Class III and Class IV posts Personnel and Administrative Reforms (Advice) Department G.O. (P)No.20/98/P&ARD
Dated, Thiruvananthapuram,
14 July, 1998

Orders issued for a maximum of 50 appointments each in the categories of subordinate service, last grade service and part-time contingent service being set apart every year for the appointment of persons with disabilities to the public services.
Employment Reservation of three per cent vacancies in Class I and II posts in Public Services for appointment of physically disabled persons – post of Assistant Engineer (Civil), Public Works Department – eligibility for full participation in the selection process and appointment in respect of certain categories of physically disabled persons – clarified orders Social Welfare Department

G.O. (RT) No. 291/2012/SWD.

Dated, Thiruvananthapuram 20th June 2012

This order has been issued in clarification to earlier orders issued for identification of posts for Persons with Disabilities.
Building construction Kerala Panchayat Building Rules 2011 Local Self Governance Department

G.O. (MS) No.41/11/LSGD Dated, Thiruvananthapuram 14/02/2011.

Notification has been issued to regulate building construction. Provides for accessibility and elimination of architectural barriers.

Special Schools and Vocational Training Centres

  • Centre for Training and Rehabilitation of the Mentally Retarded, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Adarsha Rehabilitation Institute for Spastics and Neurologically Impaired, Kochi
  • Asha Niketan, Kozhikode
  • Jagathy Government School for the Blind, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Jagathy Government BHSS for the Deaf, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Kunnamkulam GS for the Blind, Kunnamkulam, Thrissur
  • Kunnamkulam GS for the Deaf, Kunnamkulam, Thrissur

Non Governmental Organisations for Persons with Disabilities

  • National Association of the Blind, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Kerala Federation of the Blind, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Kerala Institution of the Blind, Thrissur
  • All Kerala Association of the Deaf, Thrissur
  • Kerala Government Deaf Employees Union
  • Association for the Welfare of the Handicapped, Kozhikode
  • Kerala State Physically Handicapped Employees Association
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