4 years of Modi govt: Ensuring justice for the downtrodden
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched many flagship schemes of the NDA government for the welfare of Scheduled Caste, Other Backward Class, Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Persons with Disabilities, Persons in Destitute, Safai Karamcharis.
The ministry is headed by Thawar Chand Gehlot who is assisted by a Minister of State, Vijay Sampla, Krishna Pal Gujjar and Ramdas Athwale.
These initiatives include financial support to the target groups and result oriented skill development programmes. Some of the programmes launched in the last four years include:
Venture Capital Fund for OBCs
A New scheme Venture Capital Fund for OBCs on similar lines as Venture Capital Fund for SCs launched with an initial corpus of Rs. 200 crore. Rs. 140 crore has been provided for it in 2018-19. The Skill Development Training has been given to 13,587 manual scavengers and their dependants. 809 manual scavengers and their dependants have been provided bank loans.
Pre-Matric Scholarship for OBC
For the Pre-Matric Scholarship for OBC, the income eligibility has been increased from Rs.44,500/- per annum to Rs. 2.5 lakh per annum. For Pre-Matric Scholarship for SC, the income eligibility has been raised from Rs.2.00 lakhs to Rs. 2.5 lakhs.
Stipend for day scholars has been raised from Rs. 150 to Rs. 225 and for hostel inmates has been raised from Rs. 350 to Rs. 525/-.Top Class Education for Scheduled Castes has been raised from Rs. 4.5 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh per annum. For Free coaching for SC and OBC students, the income eligibility has been raised from Rs. 4.5 lakhs to Rs. 6 lakhs.
Stipend has been raised from Rs. 1500/- Rs. 2500/- for local students and from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 5000 for outstation students. For Pre-matric Scholarship for OBC, the rates of scholarships has been increased substantially.
The earlier rates of scholarships of day - scholars from Class I to V, Class VI to VIII and Class IX to X of Rs. 25, Rs.40 and Rs. 50 respectively for 10 months has been revised to Rs. 100 per month for 10 months from Class I to X.
Earlier rates of scholarships of hostellers from Class III to VIII and Class IX to X of Rs. 200 and Rs. 250 respectively for ten months has been revised to Rs. 500 per month for 10 months from Class III to X.Adhoc grant for all students under the scheme is Rs. 500 per annum.Under the National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes, the assistance has been increased from Rs. 25,000/- to Rs. 28,000/- per student.
Increase in budget allocation
There is an increase of 12.10% in the budget allocation for Ministry of Social justice and Empowerment in the Union Budget 2018-19 over 2017-18. In 2017-18, it was Rs. 6908.00 crore which has now been increased to Rs. 7750.00 crore in 2018-19. Also there is an increase of 11.57% in the budget allocation for schemes in 2018-19 over 2017-18. In addition, there is an increase of 41.03% in the budget allocation for the welfare of OBC in 2018-19 over 2017-18.
Accessible India Campaign- Sugamya Bharat Abhiyaan
To make at least 50 percent of all government buildings in the national capital and all state capitals "fully accessible" for the disabled by July 2018.
- The scheme is ensuring a dignified life to Divyangs.
- Special camps organized for distribution of Aids and Assistive devices to 3.24 lakh persons with disabilities.
- Access Audit of 1662 buildings in 50 cities completed till date.
- All 34 International Airports and all 48 Domestic Airports have been provided with accessible features viz. Ramps, Accessible Toilets, lifts with Braille symbols and auditory signals.
- 624 out of 709 A1, A, B, category Railway Stations and 12894 buses out of 1,41,572 buses have been provided with accessibility features.
- 917 identified websites of State Governments/UTs are in the process of being made accessible through ERNET India. 141 State Governments websites out of 917 are made accessible.
- The Department organized Drawing and Painting Competition for School students including Students with Disability on the theme of "Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities" on Thursday, 2nd November, 2017 at Bal Bhawan, New Delhi.
- On 9th November, 2017, the Department organized an award function of Short Film Competition on Divyangjan Sashaktikaran in association with Directorate of Film Festival (DFF).
- 1188 ADIP camps organized and more than 1.94 lakhs Divyanjgans provided Aids and Assistive devices in the year 2017
- 1447 motorised tricycles provided and 404 (284 under ADIP & 120 in CSR) cochlear implant surgery conducted successfully during 2017-18.
Rajkot Samajik Adhikarita Shivir
- At Rajkot Camp aids and appliances to the tune of Rs.11.19 Cr. were distributed among 17589 divyang beneficiaries including 3000 beneficiaries who have received aids and appliances from the State Government amounting to Rs.1.53 Cr. So far it is the biggest camp in the history of the country in terms of the number of beneficiaries in a single camp for distribution of aids and appliances.
- During the event 90 motorised tricycles, 1960 tricycles, 1541 wheel chairs, 77 Cerebral Palsy (CP) chairs, 2896 crutches, 3095 walking sticks, 529 Braille cane, 112 rolators, 162 Braille kits, 732 smart canes, 214 smart phone with screen reader, 68 daisy players, 20 ADL kits for leprosy cured, 2206 digital hearing aid, 1101 artificial limbs and callipers, 4416 TML kits and 73 laptops for person with intellectual disability were distributed among various classes of Divyangjan as per their need. The State Government on their own also distributed devices for rehabilitation and empowerment of persons with disabilities to 3000 divyangjans.
- Two Guinness World Records were created in connection with the event. On 28th June 2017 a Guinness Book of World Record was created in the category of highest ever participation of 1442 persons with hearing impairment in a sign language lesson at a single venue while performing our National Anthem. Previously, such a record was hold by Taiwan (China) with participation of 978 persons with hearing impairment. The participants of this historic record repeated their performance in the presence of Prime Minister.
- Second Guinness World Record was created in the category of highest number of Orthosis (Calipers) fitted to 781 mobility impaired persons on a single day.
- In addition to the above two Guinness Book of World records, another new 'World Book Record' was also created in the category of World's Largest Disbursement of Aids and Appliances for Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) at a single venue, in one day, involving 17589 persons with disabilities (Divyangjan).
- A Mega camp was held in presence of President on 11.2.2018 in Gwalior. Apart from distribution of aids and assistive devices to 2436 Divyangjan under ADIP Scheme, aids and assistive devices were distributed to 1835 senior citizens belonging to BPL Category under Rashtriya Vayoshree Yojana .
Unique disability identification (UDID) project in process
- The Department is in the process of implementing UDID Project with a view to creating a national data-base for Persons with Disabilities and also to issue unique ID card to every one of them. It will subsequently help in tracking the physical and financial progress of delivery of benefits and in terms of hierarchy at all levels on implementation from Village level to Block level, District level, State level and National level. So far more than 5.92 lakh disability certificates as well as e-UDID cards have been processed through this online mode in about 387 districts in 17 States / UTs namely Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Meghalaya., Haryana, Mizoram, Tripura and Bihar.
- A National Consultation Workshop on Skill Development of Persons with Disabilities was organized on 3rd February, in New Delhi, to finalize strategy and action plan for skill development of PwDs. The workshop was organized in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation, focusing on intellectual and developmental disabilities in addition to other disabilities.
- The National Trust, in collaboration with Child Neurology Division, Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS, New Delhi organized the 2nd three-day Workshop for Training Master Trainers in Autism Tools-INCLEN & ISAA, from 9th-11th February, 2017 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
- The Department felicitated the team that won the Global IT Challenge 2016 for Youth with Disabilities on 22nd February in the presence of the Minister and T-20 Blind Cricket World Cup winning team on 28th February in the presence of Prime Minister.
- Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center, New Delhi has developed an ISK Dictionary for Deaf people and Hearing impaired people, offering them the words to learn and expressing their feelings, ideas etc. ISL Dictionary consists of various words for example legal terms, medical terms, academic terms, technical terms and daily use words. The videos are sub titled. This dictionary will not only work for deaf education but will also connect them with the society.
- First Indian Sign language dictionary of 3000 words was launched by Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in New Delhi at a function on 23.2.2018 at Indian International Centre, New Delhi.
- The National Trust organized National Conference on Down Syndrome at PravasiBhartiya Kendra, New Delhi on 25.03.2017 in relation to the world Autism Day. The conference was inaugurated by Shri ThaawarchandGehlot, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- Five Regional Zonal Conferences were organized to discuss important schemes / Programs of the Department:-
- Western Regional Conference was held in Mumbai 11.05.2017 attended by the States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Daman &Dio, Dadar and Nagar Haweli;
- Southern Regional Conference was held in Chennai on 12th May 2017 attended by States of Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Andaman Nicobar, Lakshadweep and Pondicherry.
- Northern Regional Conference was held in Chandigarh on 26.05.2017 attended by States of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh.
- Central Regional Conference and Eastern Regional Conference were held on 02.06.2017 and 09.06.2017 at Bhopal and New Delhi respectively to discuss important schemes / Programmes of the Department. The States of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal were attended.
A Review Meeting of NE State, chaired by Secretary, SJ&E was held in Guwahati on 23rd February 2018 to discuss issues related to NE States.
Inclusive India Summit 2017'
- To popularise the Inclusive India initiative in the country, the National Trust organised an 'Inclusive India Summit 2017' in VigyanBhavan, New Delhi on 12th September 2017. The objective of the summit was to bring together leaders from diverse sectors of the country and seek their commitment in changing India into an inclusive nation for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (PwIDDs).
Reservation for Divyangs up
- Reservations for Divyangs in Govt. jobs rose from 3% to 4%.
- Over 6 lakh Divyangjan have so far benefitted from 4,700 special assistance camps organized across the country since May 2014
- Scholarship scheme launched on 11th November 2014 to provide scholarship to differently abled students to pursue technical education
- Rs one lakh health insurance cover to people with autism, cerebral palsy and many disabilities
Indian Sign language research and training centre established
Celebrations of 125th birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar:
- 14th April declared as 'RashtriyaSamrasata Divas'.
- 26th November declared as 'Constitution Day'.
- Gramodaya se Bharat UdayAbihiyan- 14th- 24th April 2016.
- The Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016
- Types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21.
- Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time
- Acid Attack Victims have been included
- Reservation in vacancies in Govt. establishments increased from 3-4%
- Right to free education for children with disabilities of 6-18 years and Reservation of 5% seats for students with disabilities in Govt. and Govt. aided higher education institutions.
- In order to promote accessibility in public buildings (both Govt. & private) and creation of National and State fund to provide financial support to PwDs.
- Penalties for offences committed against persons with Disabilities (PwDs)
- The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015
- Provides for the establishment of exclusive special courts for the speedy trial of offences of atrocities against the members of SCs and STs
- To insert a new chapter relating to "Rights of Victims and Witnesses"
- To impose certain duties and responsibilities upon the State for making necessary arrangement for protection of victims, their defendants and witnesses.