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

Posted by Anandhi Viswanathan at Apr 30, 2013 05:00 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 Himachal Pradesh.

Executive Summary

Himachal Pradesh has issued a state policy for persons with disabilities to implement the provisions in the central laws. The government has brought out an integrated scheme for persons with disabilities in 2008 to implement certain sections of the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995. Through this scheme the government has made provisions for education, employment, training, health, rehabilitation and social protection for persons with disabilities.

State Profile

  • Capital: Shimla
  • Population: 6,856,509[1]
  • Population of Persons with Disabilities: 1,55,950
  • Literacy: 83.78%
  • HDI: 0.652 Ranked 3rd
  • Department: Department of Social Justice and Empowerment
  • Directorate: Directorate of SC, ST and Minority Affairs

Legal Provisions

Himachal Pradesh has brought out a state policy for persons with disabilities to implement the provisions under the two central laws, namely:

  • Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995 (Persons with Disabilities Act)
  • National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple disabilities Act 1998 (National Trust Act)

The government of Himachal Pradesh has passed an integrated scheme for persons with disabilities in 2008 to implement Section 25 (A), Section 25 (E), Section 26, Section 30 (D), Section 39, Section 38 (I) (a), Section 41 and Section 66 of the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995.[2] Through this scheme the government has created provisions for education, employment, training, health, rehabilitation and social protection for persons with disabilities.

In order to elicit all relevant information related to persons with disabilities, the government has modified the Families Survey Register of ICDS to give an updated survey year on year. This is intended to help in understanding the nature and type of disabilities, educational and social status of families of persons with disabilities, employment status of disabled family members and the status of benefits availed under various scheme by persons with disabilities.

Accessibility

The integrated scheme for persons with disabilities provides for awareness generation and orientation through awareness camps, seminars and workshops with an idea of creating sensitivity among policy makers and social workers regarding the requirements of persons with disabilities. It also aims to educate the masses regarding barrier free environment and create a pool of access auditors for creating free access to persons with disabilities in public places and buildings. The scheme provides funds for the workshops, seminars and awareness camps to be held at various state, district and block levels.

Education

The government provides scholarships to students with disabilities from Class I to post graduate level and for diploma / vocational / technical / professional education. Students with disabilities whose annual family income from all sources does not exceed Rs. 60,000 are eligible to apply in the prescribed format with copies of bonafide Himachal Pradesh domicile certificate, disability certificate issued by competent authority, annual progress report of the student for the last year from the educational institution and the income certificate of the family. Rates for the scholarships:

Class Rate for day scholars (per month) Rate for hostellers (per month)
Class I to Class V Rs. 150 Rs.300
Class VI to Class VIII Rs. 200 Rs.400
Class IX – Class X Rs. 250 Rs.500
Senior Secondary Rs. 300 Rs.600
BA / B Com / B Sc Rs. 350 Rs.700
BE / B Tech / MBBS / LLB Rs. 400 Rs.800
MA / M Com / M Sc / LL M Rs. 450 Rs.900

The government provides three per cent reservations for students with disabilities in all the educational institutions under the regular budget and programmes of any of the government departments.

The state has set up special schools for children with visual impairment and hearing impairment at Sunder Nagar for girls and at Dali for boys under the DSJE and SPCCD respectively.

Employment & Training

The state policy provides three per cent reservation in all state government posts from Class I to Class IV for persons with disabilities divided into one per cent each for persons with visual impairment, hearing impairment and orthopaedic disability. The policy further provides that employees with severe disability – 60 per cent or more – will be posted to stations of their choice as far as possible.

The government of Himachal Pradesh offers vocational / technical / livelihood training to persons with disabilities in collaboration with nongovernmental organisations and industrial bodies to promote self employment among persons with disabilities. The ventures will be financed by government finance development corporations.

Persons with disabilities who fulfil the following criteria should respond to the government’s call for training programmes in the prescribed format: the applicant Should be a bonafide resident of HP, should be between the age of 18 to 45 years on the date of application, should have passed the minimum educational qualification as required for the particular training programme and the annual income of the family should not be more than Rs. 1,00,000.

During the training, candidates will be provided a maximum assistance of rs. 1000 per month by the Department of SJE.

The government has also made provisions to provide financial assistance in form of subsidy in addition to the loans being provided by the HP Minority Financial Development Corporation to persons with disabilities for encouraging self employment. Candidates should apply to the HP Minority Finance and Development Corporation. Subsidy payable will be 20 per cent of the project cost or Rs. 10,000 whichever is less.

Himachal Pradesh recognises and awards best employers of persons with disabilities and best employees with disabilities. One award of Rs. 25,000 with citation is given to an employer who fulfils the following conditions: employs maximum number of persons with disabilities within the organisation, provides barrier free access within the premises, offers equitable working conditions for persons with disabilities on par with the other employees and provides additional facilities like travel and housing for employees with disabilities. Three awards of Rs. 10,000 each are given along with citations to one employee with disability each in the categories of visual impairment, hearing impairment and orthopaedic disability. Candidates for the awards will be either nominated by their employers or by the Deputy Commissioner (Disabilities) or recommended by the DWO of their respective districts.

Health and Rehabilitation

The integrated scheme for persons with disabilities creates provisions for early detection and prevention of disabilities through screening of children at regular intervals. The examination of children upto the age of six years will be carried out by Anganwadi workers while the examination of children upto 12 years will be undertaken by the Health and Family Department.

The scheme further provides for medical camps to be conducted to carry out regular checkups for persons with disabilities and certify their disabilities, recommend suitable aids and appliances for them and for the distribution of disability identity cards.

Social Protection

The state policy for persons with disabilities provides three per cent reservation in all poverty alleviation schemes for persons with disabilities.

The government provides marriage grants for persons with disabilities through its integrated scheme for marriages where either one or both parties are with disabilities. The scheme provides for a grant of Rs. 8000 for the marriage of a person who has a disability between 40 per cent and 74 per cent. It provides a grant of Rs. 15,000 for the marriage of a person with more than 75 per cent disability. Application for the grant is to be submitted in the prescribed format with copies of the birth certificate, bonafide domicile certificate for Himachal Pradesh, disability certificate issued by the district medical board and marriage registration certificate of the applicant along with an undertaking from the applicant that such a grant has not been received before.

Category Notification No. Details
All

Department of Social Justice and Empowerment NO.SJF-C(10)-31/2006,
Dated Shimla-2

Integrated Scheme for Persons with Disabilities

[1]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himachal_Pradesh

[2]. Department of Social Justice and Empowerment No. SJF-C(10)-31/2006, Shimla - 2.

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