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National Resource Kit : The Meghalaya Chapter: Call for Comments

Posted by Manojna Yeluri at Mar 25, 2013 04:30 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 Meghalaya.

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

Executive Summary

Meghalaya is one of the few north-eastern states, which has appointed a Commissioner for Disabilities. Most of the schemes and benefits given to persons with disabilities in Meghalaya are under centrally sponsored schemes. Very few schemes are initiated by the state government. Most of these schemes are in the fields of education and health and rehabilitation, and unfortunately one of the biggest lapses is that the state government has not yet identified jobs for persons with disabilities in the government sector and not provided for the mandatory 3 per cent reservation of jobs in the public sector for persons with disabilities.

Quick Statistics:

  • Capital: Shillong
  • Population: 29,64,007
  • Population of Persons with Disabilities: 1,00,000/- (approx)
  • Literacy: 75.48%
  • Department and Directorates:

The Social Welfare Department, Government of Meghalaya: This department provides services to persons with disabilities. Requirements for the welfare of the disabled people are taken into consideration including the type of disability, prevention, early detection and rehabilitation. The state has appointed a commissioner for disabilities as required under the Persons with Disabilities Act.

Legal Provisions

The state has not passed any special legislation for persons with disabilities but implements the provisions under the three central laws:

  • Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (Persons with Disabilities Act)
  • National Trust for Persons with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 (National Trust Act)
  • Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992

The schemes for persons with disabilities that are being implemented by the state are listed as under:


Currently there is no evidence that the state government has reserved 3 per cent of jobs for persons with disabilities in the government. The orders and notifications for reservations in government jobs show reservations made for various tribes and scheduled castes, but there is no reference to reservations for persons with disabilities.

Although the state has not provided reservation for persons with disabilities in government jobs, it has introduced the following schemes for vocational training, self-employment and for starting small businesses:

  1. Vocational Training to Physically Handicapped for Self Employment Scheme: This Scheme provides financial assistance to NGOs for carrying out vocational training.
  2. Uddyam Prabba: This is an interest subsidy scheme for self-employment. A person with disability who takes a loan from any bank or NHFDC can get interest subsidy of 5 per cent if he/ she is below poverty line (“BPL”) or 3 per cent otherwise on loan amount upto Rs. 1 lakh.
  3. ARUNIM: Association for Rehabilitation under National Trust Initiative of Marketing has been launched to help persons with disabilities in product designing, production processes, packaging and marketing to enable them to be financially independent.
  4. There are several centrally sponsored schemes for encouraging business and self-employment for persons with disabilities through loans and financial support under the following schemes:
  • National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation Schemes for Financing Projects
  • Self-Employment in Small Businesses
  • Assistance to Disabled Entrepreneurs
  • Assistance for Higher Studies, Professional Training
  • Assistance for Agricultural Activities
  • Scheme to Promote Manufacturing / Production of Assistive Devices for Disabled Persons
  • Assistance for Skills and Entrepreneurial Development Programmes
  • Schemes to promote Self-employment amongst Persons with Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy and Autism


In the field of education, the state has provided schemes for scholarships, financial assistance, grant-in-aid, etc. These include schemes from the state government and some centrally sponsored schemes.

  • Scholarships and allowances: The state has enacted schemes to provide scholarships to students with disabilities in recognized schools, colleges, and institutions from nursery to post-graduate levels. The rates of scholarships vary according to the level of education and whether students are hostelites or day scholars. Reader allowance is also given to visually impaired students studying from class IX onwards. Awards are also given to meritorious disabled students. These awards provide for additional allowances to students per month.
  • Financial assistance to disabled students: This scheme provides financial assistance to disabled students for uniform grant, book grant, conveyance allowance and unempoyment allowance.
  • The Integrated Education of Disabled Children (I.E.D.C.) Scheme: This is a centrally sponsored scheme which provides educational opportunities for disabled children in common schools, to facilitate their retention in the school system and also to place in common schools, such children already placed in special schools after they acquire the communication and daily living skills at the functional level.
  • Grant-in-aid to Voluntary Organisations: This scheme provides financial assistance to voluntary organisations for maintenance of special schools and vocational training for persons with disabilities.
  • Aspiration Scheme under the National Trusts Act: This is an early intervention programme for school readiness. The scheme is to work with children of 0-6 years with developmental disabilities, to make them ready for mainstream and social schools. The activities carried out under this scheme are: awareness generation amongst parents of persons with disabilities, assessment and evaluation of children with disabilities, motivation and counselling to parents and families, training for daily living activities, pre-school skills – (pre-reading, pre-maths, etc.), Therapeutic services which includes physiotherapy / occupational therapy / speech / psychotherapy and psychiatric intervention, audio logical assessment and suitable referral, music drama / play therapy / pre-vocational training, facilitation in getting admission into special school and inclusive school and respite care services (for parents).
  • Gyan Prabba: A scholarship scheme for doing any employment oriented course after schooling. Under the scheme, a monthly scholarship of Rs. 700/- shall be paid for upto 1 year.
  • Samarti: This is a centrally sponsored scheme introduced for residential services – both short term (respite care) and long term (prolonged care). Activities in a Samarth centre would include early intervention, special education or integrated school, open school, pre-vocational and vocation training, employment oriented training, recreation, sports, etc. The facilities in the home would be available to both men and women on a 50-50 per cent basis and shall cover all the four disabilities under the National Trust.
  • Centrally sponsored schemes for the establishment and development of special schools.

Health & Rehabilitation

  • Rehabilitation Treatment for the Disabled Scheme: This scheme provides financial assistance to disabled persons who cannot afford to undergo treatment inside and outside state.
  • Gharaunda Scheme: GHARAUNDA or Group Home and Rehabilitation Activities Under National Trust Act for Disabled Adults is a new scheme for providing life long shelter and care to persons with disabilities in group homes.
  • Sabyogi: It is a new and revamped scheme of caregivers training and deployment. A new training module has been designed and a system of training and deployment of caregivers has been provided for under the scheme.
  • Assistance to voluntary organizations: This is for the rehabilitation of leprosy-cured persons.
  • Assistance to organizations: This is for persons with cerebral palsy and mental retardation.
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