Merely 38% of the 26.8 million disabled issued a disability certificate
Reply provided by the Ministry of Social Justice to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that 10.2 million disabled have been issued a disability certificate from 2010 till June 30, 2013. The information provided to Rajiv Yadav, an RTI activist, shows that merely 38% of the 26.8 million persons identified as disabled by Census 2011 have been issued the certificate which entitles them to various benefits provided under the government schemes. Critics have pointed to the poor coverage as an indicator of the state apathy to the condition of the disabled. They have also alleged admits there is huge under-reporting of the number of the disabled whose actual figures could be much higher, about 70 million going by a United Nations estimate.
There is a wide regional disparity in the population covered by the certificate:–
· Tripura has acovered 98% of the identified population with disability certificates.
· Tamil Nadu has covered 72% of the population.
· Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have covered about 40% of the disabled population.
· Barely a quarter of the population has been issued certificates in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Assam and Kerala.
· Delhi has just 22% of the disabled population with certificate.
Disability certificate is the basic document needed to access welfare schemes like those pertaining to education, healthcare, job reservation etc. The Rights of Persons With Disability Bill has a provision for universalisation of the disability certificate which would turn the expectation of the disable to get their basic certification without undue harassment into a reality. The bill, however, is yet to see the light of the day.