Capability building of persons with disabilities in India

Bajpai, Divya M (2014). 'Capability building of persons with disabilities in India' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, 2-5 September 2014, Athens, Greece.

In this thesis, the policy on disability is studied to understand how it leads to enhancement or deprivation of capabilities for persons with disabilities in India. We try to identify the factors that can act as measurement indicators of a given society's proclivity to enable or deprive achievement of various capabilities in persons with disabilities. The following dimensions of capability based on Capability Model of Disability by Pineda are accepted as necessary for disabled persons to feel empowered and lead a productive life in the society: health & rehabilitation, social protection & safety nets, education, employment, mobility, accessibility, independent living and being included in the community, political and public participation, awareness raising. In this study, we try to identify and build the indicators of various dimensions that act as conversion factors for capability building of persons with disabilities. The indicators were identified from the literature review, followed by discussions with key stakeholders such as experts in the field, government officials, NGOs and persons with disabilities to know the functionings that can be affected by the selected indicator and field realities were observed critically.

Certain conversion factors are examined to analyze capability building of persons with disabilities in India at federal level and local levels in Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Karnataka. These were identified after intiial field work. The conversion factors studied are: personal, social (attitudes and norms), environmental (geographic location and opportunities) and governance (policy and institutions). The content of legislative measures, the process of implementation of the relevant policy, administrative capacity and capability of implementing bureaucracies, institutions (governmental, non-governmental, schools, institutions of higher education, employers from private and public sector organizations) and indicators of governance were studied.

Persons with different types of disabilities such as orthopedic/locomotor, vision and blindness; rehabilitation professionals, educators, NGOs working with these two groups of disabled persons and also with hearing and speech impairment were approached for in-depth interviews. Implementation of the policy is studied in these regions on the dimensions of health & rehabilitation, higher education, employment, civil & political participation. Findings are being analyzed.

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