United Nations: India is in the process of implementing a project to provide a unique ID card to persons with disabilities aimed at creating a national data base that will enable the government to have real time information on their level of education, income and employment status, the UN was told.
"Data and statistics on persons with disabilities is key to their inclusion in the implementation of the Agenda 2030," said Vinod Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities here on Tuesday.
He said the Indian government is in the process of implementing the 'Unique ID for Persons with Disabilities' project with a view to create a national data base for persons with disabilities, and issue them a unique ID card.
"This would also enable the government to have genuine and real time data on disability covering various aspects such as level of education, income, employment status," he said, adding that the government has also decided to establish the first Central University for Disability Studies and Research
Aggarwal said the explicit inclusion of persons with disabilities in the global vision of the people-centric,
universal and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a "significant" achievement for the international community.
"Disability is recognised as a consequence and cause of poverty. Eradication of poverty, the overarching objective of the Agenda 2030, will remain a distant dream without fully realising their potential and contribution in the vision of sustainable development," he said.
Aggarwal noted that an estimated billion people out of the world's population are disabled and 80 per cent of them live in the developing world.
About 27 million persons with disabilities live in India, constituting about two per cent of its population.
He said India is in the process of harmonising the main legislation of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and a new bill 'Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill' is under consideration in the Parliament.
"The proposed law will increase the rights and entitlements for persons with disabilities, protect them from discrimination, facilitate mainstreaming, access to care and treatment and also strengthen enforcement mechanisms," he said.
Aggarwal stressed that the empowerment of persons with disabilities is an inter-disciplinary process, covering various aspects like early detection, intervention, education, vocational training, rehabilitation, accessibility and social integration.
India will launch the National Action Plan for skill development of 2.5 million persons with disabilities by the year 2022 through various schemes and financial assistance to improve accessibility, rehabilitation, education, vocational training and self-employment.
"Raising awareness among public to promote legal rights of persons with disabilities and also to generate affirmative public perception towards them is a priority," he said.
"The private sector and civil society are valued partners in the endeavour to empower persons with disabilities and to build a more inclusive society that is more sensitive to their needs, as envisioned in the Agenda 2030 and the SDGS.
"India remains committed to building an enabling environment so that all persons with disabilities are able to enjoy their rights equally with others and realise their full potential," he said.
Marking the 10th anniversary of a United Nations treaty that protects the rights of persons with disabilities, senior UN officials today highlighted the critical role people with disabilities play as invaluable partners to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
"Through the power of music and the arts, these talented women and men are living examples of our core message: disability is not inability," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a video message, referring to artists from the Beautiful Mind Charity, '4WheelCity' and the Samulnori team who performed at UN Headquarters.
"Let us work together for a world of opportunity and dignity for all, a future of inclusion, one in which we all gain by leaving no one behind," he added.
Implementing the new Sustainable Development Goals for all persons with disabilities is the main focus of the Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as they meet in New York from Wednesday through Thursday.
Gathering hundreds of disability advocates and government delegates, the 9th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD constitutes one of the largest and most diverse international meetings on disability in the world.
The UN is underlining that the annual review of the Convention will examine the implementation of the binding agreement adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006 to reaffirm that the one billion persons with disabilities - 15 per cent of the world's population- must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.