Constitution of India guarantees equality of men and women
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment today observed “International Women’s Day”’ in the Conference Room of the Department at Antyoday Bhawan, New Delhi. The programme was chaired by Mrs. Shakuntala D. Gamlin Secretary, DEPwD and attended by the women employees of the Department. Women employees of National Institutes (NIs) of the Department participated in the programme virtually. Smt. Gamlin congratulated the women for their achievement in different fields. She affirmed the Government’s commitment to their empowerment and inclusion in the society. She emphasized on empowering Divyang Women.
Speaking especially about women with disabilities, she said that the Constitution of India guarantees equality of men and women. Simultaneously the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 ensures that persons with disabilities including women enjoy their rights equally with others, and prohibits all types of discrimination. This law has strong safeguards in terms of stringent punishment, special courts for speedy trial and redressal mechanism with Chief Commissioners for PwDs both at Central and State levels and Commissioners and District level Committees in the States.
The Secretary stated that there are flagships schemes run by the Ministry that provide benefits to person with disabilities including women. The Aids and Appliances scheme, Scholarships, Accessible India Campaign, National Action Plan for Skill Development and employment in Government sector. National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation offers financial assistance in the form of concessional loan for setting up of income generating unit by PwDs. Rebate of 1% on interest rate is allowed to women with disabilities for self-employment schemes. 12,959 women with disabilities received a total loan of Rs 102.35 crore in the last 5 years. In the last 5 years, 3.23 lakh women with disabilities received aids and appliances; 27,431 women with disabilities received skill training during the same period. 50% of total scholarship slots at pre-matric, post-matric, top class education and 30% slots for National Oversees Scholarships are reserved for female students. 43,019 female students benefitted so far.
She informed that the Ministry is in the process of setting up of Early Intervention Centres at the National Institutes and Composite Regional Centres for early screening and rehabilitation to reduce the extent of disability. This will bring great relief to the children and mothers and community. She felt that in the years to come more women with disabilities will participate in all walks of life – be it in Government, private sector, art, cultural and sports, and will contribute greatly to the nation’s progress.