Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)

The DDRS includes projects for providing education, vocational training, and rehabilitation of persons with orthopedic, speech, visual, and mental disabilities. It provides for 18 model projects covering various services provided by voluntary agencies which are supported through grants-in-aid that include programmes for pre-school and early intervention, special education, vocational training and placement, community-based rehabilitation, manpower development, psycho-social rehabilitation of persons with mental illness, and rehabilitation of leprosy-cured persons. Against an allocation of Rs. 120 crore for the financial year 2012-13, Rs. 14.48 crore had been sanctioned as on 31December 2012.

Accessible India Campaign’ (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan)

Accessible India Campaign aims at achieving universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and to create an enabling and barrier free environment, with a focus on three verticals: Built Environment; Public Transportation and Information & Communication Technologies. It was launched on 3rd December 2015, commemorating International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

According to Census 2011, the number of persons with disabilities in India constituted 2.2 per cent of the population. e Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) launched ‘Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan)’ as a nation-wide Campaign for achieving universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) with a focus on three verticals: Built Environment, Public Transportation and Information & Communication Technologies.

The ‘Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index’ launched by the Government as part of the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan helps the industries and corporates to participate in the Accessible India Campaign (AIC) by voluntarily evaluating their readiness for making the workplace accessible for PwDs. The Index is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country and will be an ideal instrument for the integration, assimilation and inclusion of PwDs into the mainstream. The Index enables the organisations to introspect over their inclusive policies and organisational culture in aid of PwDs, employment of such workforce and adaptations to meet the needs of PwDs.

Further, the ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill ‘ 2016’ passed by the Parliament aims at securing and enhancing the rights and entitlements of PwDs. The bill has proposed to increase the reservation in vacancies in government establishments from 3 per cent to 4 per cent for those with benchmark disability and high support needs.

Social Protection Programmes

The coverage of social security schemes has been expanded to provide a minimum level of social protection to workers in the unorganised sector and ensure inclusive development. Such schemes include the following:

Aam Admi Bima Yojana (AABY)

The Janashree Bima Yojana (JBY) has now been merged with the AABY to provide better administration of life insurance cover to the economically backward sections of society. The scheme extends life and disability cover to persons between the ages of 18 and 59 years living below and marginally above groups, including ‘rural landless households’. It provides insurance cover of a sum of Rs. 30,000 on natural death, Rs. 75,000 on death due to accident, Rs. 37,500 for partial permanent disability due to accident, and Rs. 75,000 on death or total permanent disability due to accident.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

The scheme provides smart card-based cashless health insurance cover of Rs. 30,000 per family per annum on a family floater basis to BPL families in the unorganised sector with the premium shared on 75:25 basis by central and state governments. In case of states of the north-eastern region and Jammu and Kashmir, the premium is shared in the ratio of 90:10. The scheme provides for portability of smart card by splitting the card value for migrant workers. As of now there are

About 6.85 crore targeted BPL families and 70.98 lakh reported hospitalization cases. As on 31 March 2014, more than 3.69 crore families were covered under the RSBY. During 2013-14, Rs. 885.91 crore was released. The benefits of RSBY are being extended to all unorganised workers in a phased manner.

The Unorganised Workers, Social Security Act 2008 and National Social Security Fund

The Act provides for constitution of a National Social Security Board and State Social Security Boards which will recommend social security schemes for unorganised workers. The National Social Security Board was constituted in August 2009. It has made some recommendations regarding extension of social security schemes to certain additional segments of unorganised workers. A National Social Security Fund with initial allocation of Rs.1000 crore to support schemes for weavers, toddy tappers, rickshaw pullers, beedi workers, etc. has also been set up.

Social Security Agreements (SSAs)

SSA, a bilateral instrument to protect the interests of Indian professionals as well as self-employed Indians working in foreign countries, was initiated by signing an SSA between India and Belgium on 3 November 2006. So far India has signed 15 SSAs with Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Hungary, Denmark, Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, Norway, Finland, Canada, Sweden, and Japan. These SSAs facilitate mobility of professionals between two countries by exempting them from double payment of social security contributions and enables them to enjoy the benefits of exportability and totalisation.

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