On the occasion of upcoming “United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities” (Dec 3rd)

Persons with disabilities, “the world’s largest minority”, have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. These obstacles can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment, or those resulting from legislation or policy, or from societal attitudes or discrimination. Factors which place people with disabilities at higher risk of violence include stigma, discrimination, and ignorance about disability, as well as a lack of social support for those who care for them.

Evidence and experience shows that when barriers to their inclusion are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life. Barriers faced by persons with disabilities are, therefore, a detriment to society as a whole, and accessibility is necessary to achieve progress and development for all.

3 December has been observed as United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) since 1992. On this day the UN comes up with themes towards buildinga more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities. This year’s theme – Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want

More than one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. 80 per cent live in developing countries. An estimated 2.21 percent of India’s total population has a disability. Additionally, over 70 percent of these people with disabilities live in rural areas.

GRAAM has commitment to work comprehensively for the empowerment of Person with Disability especially for their employment and the voice of the disabled to be embodied in the policies meant for them. GRAAM has also collaborated with Employment and Disability Institute, Cornell University, USA. GRAAM conducted indepth interviews with PwD in Karnataka and found that there are

  • Lack of information and awareness about the entitlements and provisions for disabled specifically in the rural area.
  • Lack of social cohesion among the PwDs which are aloof and alienated with minimum participation in the community led programs like Self Help Groups, livelihood activities, Governance activities etc

GRAAM planning to work on e-Ability a social initiative that leverages the benefit of Technology to build a national model for empowering the Persons with Disabilities from rural areas.This technology framework offers tremendous possibilities to various stakeholders such as the Government, NGOs, Employers, Policy Makers and the Persons with Disabilities.

GRAAMS work on PwD

  • In collaboration with Employment and Disability Institute, Cornell University, USA conducted research and evaluation studies in Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states.
  • Studied impact of economic empowerment, livelihood and community inclusion for PwD in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Has conducted case studies on policies and status of employment of disabled people in selected companies of corporate sector.
  • A study in Karnataka to understand ‘Inclusion of PwD in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act’.