Rights of Disabled Person

Constitutional Rights:

The mandate of the Constitution is to ensure equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals, which implies an inclusive society for all, especially the disadvantaged.

Article 41 is particularly relevant with regard to disabled persons. It states that the state shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement.

The subject of “relief of the disabled and unemployable” is specified in List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.

In pursuance of the above provisions of the Constitution, several legislations have been enacted by the Government. These legislations are specifically directed towards the protection, welfare, rehabilitation, empowerment and development of disabled persons.

Legal Rights:

The following legislations contain several rights and safeguards for the disabled persons:

  1. Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act (1995) is the premier legislation concerning disability issues in the country. It ensures equal opportunities for disabled persons, protection of their rights and their full participation in the nation-building. It contains the following four categories of provisions:
    • Prevention and early detection of disabilities Education, employment, affirmative action, non-discrimination and social security for disabled persons
    • Establishment of Co-ordination Committees and Executive Committees at the central and state levels to deal with policy matters relating to disabled persons
    • Appointment of a Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) at the Central level and Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities at the state level to look into complaints of deprivation of rights of disabled persons.
  2. National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act (1999) provides for the establishment of a National Trust for welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities. The objectives of the trust are to ensure disabled persons to lead independent life with dignity, to support NGOs and other service providers, and to appoint legal guardians to take care the needs of disabled persons.
  3. Rehabilitation Council of India Act (1992) provided for the setting up of the Rehabilitation Council of India. This council regulates and monitors the training of rehabilitation professionals and promotes research in rehabilitation and special education.
  4. Mental Health Act (1987) deals with the treatment and care of mentally ill-persons. It regulates admission of mentally ill-persons to psychiatric hospitals and protects the rights o such persons while being detained.
  5. Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) provides for free legal services to disabled persons.

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