Disabled children below the poverty line are benefiting less from state policy of disabilities, which would give them providence and financial support.
Bengaluru, Oct. 23, 2018.
As per the 2011 Karnataka Disability census, the state had a disabled population of 13,14,158 individuals, out of which 7,22,381 are male, 5,91,777 are female, and 1,06,612 are minors.
Mostly, private Non-Governmental Organizations are involved in the education and rehabilitation programs of the department, but not beyond those areas. There is no grass root level agency to provide and disseminate information about the schemes and programs of the government.
According to the Disabled State Policy of Karnataka, 5 to 6 percent of the state’s population consists of disabled people. Under the ‘Persons with Disabilities Act’(1995), the state is required to provide for rehabilitation, education, economic opportunities, barrier-free environment, and other supporting facilities.
Basavaraj VS, Commissioner of Disabilities in Bangalore, says “Basically, in principle, yes, the law provides for them but the thing is that everything is free and if they are admitted into organizations, they will be attended to. But those children with disabilities who don’t know how to go about it and face transport issues, nothing much has happened for them. So, more than 50 percent of the BPL disabled children, who come from extremely poor families, are not exposed to the education system as it is.”
He added “A lot has to happen, the law is extremely clear on it, they need to be provided with all the facilities and the support they require, but the ground reality is that more than half of the percentage is not being provided. The understanding, conceptualization of the law in reality is so poor, that invariably if they go for help, they shall receive it, but if they don’t have means to, then they won’t be, due to the lack of a proactive mechanism.”
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rights of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009, every child with benchmark disability between the age of six to 18 shall have the right to free education in a neighborhood school, or in a special school, of his/her choice.
Private NGOs in Bengaluru have programs to provide aid to the community like the Policy & Advocacy Program for Disability by the Association of People with Disability. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWD) of 2016 ensures the rights of children with disabilities to enjoy their rights as equally as others, keeping in mind, their age and disability.