Welfare of Persons with Disabilities
            In order to give focused attention to different policy issues and meaningful thrust to the
      activities aimed at welfare and empowerment of the Persons with Disabilities, a separate
      Department of Disability Affairs was carved out of the Ministry of Social Justice and
      Empowerment in 2012. The Department acts as a nodal agency for matters pertaining to
      disability and persons with disabilities including effecting closer coordination among different
      stakeholders: related central ministries, state/UT governments, NGOs etc., in matters pertaining
      to disability. According to Census 2011, there are 2.68 crore persons with disabilities in the
      country (who constitute 2.21 per cent of the total population). Out of the total population of
      persons with disabilities, about 1.50 crore are men and 1.18 crore are women. These include
      persons with visual, hearing, speech and locomotor disabilities, mental illness, mental
      retardation, multiple disabilities and other disabilities.
      Constitutional Provisions
            The Constitution of India through its Preamble, inter-alia seeks to secure to all its citizens;
      justice, social, economic and political; liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
      equality of status and of opportunity. Part-III of the Constitution provides for a set of six
      Fundamental Rights to all the citizens (and in a few cases to non-citizens also). These include -
      Right to Equality; Right to Freedom; Right against Exploitation; Right to Freedom of Religion;
      Cultural and Educational Rights and Right to Constitutional Remedies. All these rights are also
      available to the Persons with Disabilities even though no specific mention of such persons appear
      in this Part of the Constitution.
            The Directive Principles of State Policy have been incorporated in Part-IV of the
      Constitution. Even though non-justiciable, these have been declared as fundamental in the
      governance of the country. These principles are intended to be the imperative basis of State
      policy. These are really in the nature of instructions issued to future legislatures and executives
      for their guidance. Article 41: Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain
      cases, provides: “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
      case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved
      want”. Besides, Eleventh Schedule to Article 243-G and Twelfth Schedule to Article 243-W,
      which pertain to the powers and responsibilities of the Panchayats and municipalities
      respectively with respect to implementation of schemes for economic development and social
      justice, include welfare and safeguarding the interests of Persons with Disabilities among other
      weaker sections of the society.
            The Department deals with the following legislations governing different aspects of
      disability and welfare and empowerment of the Persons with Disabilities— The Rehabilitation
      Council of India Act, 1992; The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of
      Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995; and The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with
      Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999.
            Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), has formulated the
      accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan), as a nation-wide campaign for achieving
      universal accessibility for PwDs. The campaign targets three separate verticals for achieving
      universal accessibilities, namely, the built up environment, transportation eco-system and
      information and communication eco-system. The campaign has ambitious targets with defined