9th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)

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Human and Social Development
Sectoral Overview || Basic Minimum Services || Education || Health || Family Welfare || Indian System of Medicine and Homoepathy || Housing, Urban Development, Water Supply and Civic Amenities || Empowerment of Women and Development of Children || Empowerment of the Socially Disadvantaged Groups || Social Welfare || Labour and Labour Welfare || Art and Culture || Youth Affairs and Sports



3.10.1 The social scenario in the country has been fast changing due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. The unending flow of rural population to the already crowded cities and towns in search of employment has resulted in serious problems like overcrowding, emergence of pavement/slum dwellings, breakdown of joint family system, unemployment, poverty etc. In this process, certain categories of population, who failed to cope with these rapid changes, have started lagging behind the rest of the society due to their vulnerability. They include Persons with Disabilities viz. - locomotor, visual, hearing, speech and mental; the Social Deviants, who come in conflict with law viz. - juvenile delinquents/vagrants, drug addicts, alcoholics, sex-workers, beggars etc.; and the Other Disadvantaged viz. - the elderly, the destitutes, the deserted, street children etc. All these categories need special attention of the State because of the vulnerabilities and the disabilities, they suffer from.

3.10.2 To safeguard the interests of the disadvantaged sections of the Society, the Constitution of India guarantees that no person will be denied `equality' before the law (Article 14). It also promises `right to education' and `public assistance' in the old age and disablement (Article 41). To safeguard the interests of these groups, some important legislations were also enacted. They include - the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (as amended and retitled in 1986); the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958; Juvenile Justice Act, 1986; the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988; the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995; Prevention of Beggary Acts (State Acts) etc. Simultaneously, the Government has also undertaken many welfare-cum-developmental measures right from the First Five Year Plan with the major objective of extending preventive-cum-curative-cum-rehabilitative services to meet the special needs of these vulnerable groups. Thus, the developmental planning has been made responsive right from the beginning not only to attend to the existing problems but also to address the situations emerging from time to time.


Persons with Disabilities

3.10.3 No Census, except for 1981, has ever enumerated the population of the Persons with Disabilities since Independence. However, the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) conducted two country-wide Sample Surveys in 1981 and 1991. According to these Surveys, there were 136.74 lakh disabled persons in 1981 and 163.62 lakh in 1991 who were having at least one or the other of the four types of disabilities viz. - locomotor, visual, hearing and speech. The magnitude and the size of various disabilities, as revealed by the two Surveys, is given in Table 3.10.1.

Table 3.10.1
Type and Magnitude of various Disabilities as per the 
Nation-wide Sample Surveys of NSSO in 1981 and 1991
                              (Figure in lakhs)
Type of Disability                                    1981                                     1991 
                                                            ------------------              ------------------------
                                                            Actual         %                Actual      %       
                                                            Number                        Number           
1.  Locomotor (with or without       54.27          39.7             80.44       49.2 
    other disability)
2.  Visual (with or without               34.74          25.4             36.26      22.2 
    other disability)
3.  Hearing (with or without            30.19          22.1             29.24     17.8  
    other disability - 5 years
    and above)
4.  Speech (with or without              17.54          12.8              17.68    10.8    
    other disability - 5 years
    and above)                   
    T o t a l                                           136.74       100.0            163.62   100.0 
    - Disabled (with more than     
      one of the 4 disabilities
      mentioned above)                         -               14.5%             -          12.4%

Note : As the data of Census and NSSO are non-comparable, data of NSSO for both 1981 and 1991 have been made use of for the comparison above.

3.10.4 A comparison of the data of NSSO Surveys of 1981 and 1991 on the magnitude of the problem of disability indicates that the actual number of the disabled has also increased from 136.74 lakhs to 163.62 lakhs and their percentage to the total population in the corresponding years has marginally increased from 1.8 per cent in 1981 to 1.9 per cent in 1991. Amongst the total population of the disabled, persons with locomotor disability had the highest share of 49.2 per cent and the lowest being the victims of speech disability. While the actual number of persons with locomotor disability and visual disability have shown an increasing trend during the last decade (1981-91), persons with hearing disability have shown a decreasing trend; and the persons with speech disability remained more or less the same during the same period. But, when the percentage of their share in the total population of the disabled is considered, all the three categories except for the locomotor disability, have shown a declining trend. The high rate of 49.2 per cent in respect of the persons with locomotor disability was largely attributed to the automobile and road accidents and other industrial hazards, indicating a greater need for strict observation of road and industrial safety measures and traffic regulations. However, the major cause of polio-related locomotor disability has been brought under control by effective nation- wide immunization campaigns.

3.10.5 Although, the NSSO excluded Persons with Mental Disabilities from both the national surveys of 1981 and 1991, it, however, conducted a sample survey in 1991 on the `Persons with Delayed Mental Development'. According to the Survey, about 3 per cent of the child population (1-14 years) were estimated to have mental retardation. Amongst the adults, rough estimates indicate that while 1 per cent of them were suffering from various forms of mental disorders, 10 to 15 per cent were suffering from various mental health problems.

3.10.6 The number of leprosy affected disabled persons was estimated to be about 4 million, of whom, about one fifth were children and about 15 to 20 per cent were left with deformities. The prevalence rate was more than 5 per thousand in the 196 high endemic districts in the country.

3.10.7 As revealed by the NSSO Survey of 1991, although 80 per cent of the disabled population live in rural areas, services and institutional/infrastructural facilities available to them were mainly confined to urban areas, and the villages remained mainly unattended to/neglected. Only 10 per cent of villages had the privilege of having Integrated Education Centres for the Disabled within a distance of less than 10 kms. The situation was much worse in respect of special schools, vocational training and other welfare institutions. Further, 97 per cent of villages did not have the facility of having special schools within a distance of 10 kms and about 96 per cent of villages did not have any facility for vocational training within that distance. Only 6 per cent of villages received rehabilitation services through mobile vans or camps. The services available for the Spastics and persons suffering from Cerebral Palsy were not only inadequate but were mainly urban centred. In the rural areas, these services were virtually absent.

3.10.8 To ensure social justice to the disabled on equitable terms, the Government of India enacted in 1995 a comprehensive legislation viz., the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act (PDA), 1995. The Act empowers the disabled with a right to demand for an enabling environment wherein they can enjoy protection of rights, equal opportunities and full participation in various developmental activities of the country. Effective implementation of this innovative legislation, which has made a beginning at the end of the Eighth Plan, is going to be a challenge in the Ninth Plan as it promises to fulfil certain rights in favour of the persons with disabilities.

The Social Deviants

3.10.9 According to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, about 3.05 lakh persons were reported to have been subjected to various addictions during 1996-97. Data on the prevailing situation of addiction to toxic substances indicate that the traditional problems of alcoholism and opium addiction continue to be very high with 42 per cent and 20.5 per cent, respectively. While the problem of traditional addictions persists with a higher magnitude, the emergence and the increasing free flow of narcotics has become a cause for concern. The drug addiction especially in the North-Eastern Region of the country has reached an alarming situation and continues to be unabated. The Drug abuse in this Region, especially in the State of Manipur, has been contributing to a very bad spread of HIV/AIDS due to the unsafe practices of drug injecting. All these have become a big threat to the society at large, as the drug addiction and HIV/AIDS got into a big nexus.

3.10.10 Realising the ill-effects of alcoholism on the family and other social institutions, a few States have enforced Prohibition laws. Social movements like that of the Anti-Arrack movement led by women of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh holds testimony to other States for action against alcoholism. No doubt, voluntary organisations have a significant role to play in this direction, as they can mobilise mass movements not only to abhor the practice of alcoholic consumption through various preventive, curative and rehabilitative services, but also by creating awareness through constant propaganda about the ill-effects of alcoholism and other addictions.

3.10.11 The problem of beggary persists even today with its socio-cultural and economic ramifications. But, unfortunately, there is no information about the size and magnitude of the problem. The most disturbing feature is begging under various kinds of compulsions and the worst are those who are inducted into begging by force by anti-social elements. Despite the enforcement of Anti-Beggary legislations by 16 States and 2 Union Territories, the problem still continues to exist in its worst form as begging has become a profession for many, as they find it as an easy means of livelihood. The other problems related to begging include : ineffective enforcement of legislation; non- existence/inadequate number of Reception Homes/Beggars' Homes; and lack of standards in the services provided in the mandatory institutions owing to the existing variations in their respective legal provisions and administrative procedures. Presently, the approach for tackling this problem is based primarily on punitive devices with very little scope for any diversified programmes of treatment and rehabilitation, neither for the able-bodied nor for the disabled beggars. These problems, therefore, need special attention in the Ninth Plan as they can leave the most damaging effects on the otherwise healthy growth of the society.

The Other Disadvantaged

3.10.12 The rapid demographic changes that are taking place in the country have led to an increase in the number of elderly persons. According to the 1991 Census, the population of 60+ was 55 million against 42.5 million in 1981. Of these, more than 50 per cent (27.2 million) were women. As per the Report of the Technical Group on Population constituted by the Planning Commission in 1996, the population of 60+ is expected to go upto 68.51 million by the year 2000 AD.

3.10.13 Also, a large number of street children suffer destitution, neglect, abuse and exploitation due to various socio-economic reasons. As per the joint survey conducted by the Ministry of Welfare and the UNICEF in 1988-1993 in eight metropolitan/major cities viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kanpur and Indore, the estimated population of the Street Children was 4.15 lakhs. This, being an emerging problem in the recent past, the same needs to be curbed right in its infancy.


  • To prepare a National Charter for Social Justice for ensuring all round development of the disadvantaged section of the society.
  • To adopt a three-fold strategy of - Empowering the Persons with Disabilities; Reforming the Social Deviants; and Caring the Other Disadvantaged through various preventive, curative, rehabilitative and developmental policies and programmes

3.10.14 The Ninth Plan is committed to prepare a National Charter for Social Justice to ensure all-round development of the disadvantaged sections of the society. Therefore, approach to Social Welfare in the Ninth Plan is distinct from the earlier Plans, as it proposes to adopt the following three-fold strategy, specific to each individual group, viz. Empowering the Persons with Disabilities; Reforming the Social Deviants and Caring for the Other Disadvantaged.

Empowering the Persons with Disablilites


  • Every effort will be made towards effective enforcement of the Persons with Disabilities Act (PDA), 1995
  • ‘Reaching the rural disabled’ – those who have been neglected so far will receive special attention
  • Continuing efforts will be made to converge the existing services in welfare – specific and other welfare--related sectors to gain the optimum benefit
  • An enabling environment for persons with disabilities to exercise their rights for equal opportunities and full participation will be put into action through joint efforts of both Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations
  • A special strategy of Family / Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) will be adopted by pooling the resources of both financial and manpower, of all the concerned
  • Special efforts will be made to prevent disabilities through supplementary nutritional feeding for both children and expectant / nursing mothers, early detection and timely intervention
  • Strengthening / expansion of special schools and vocational training programmes with barrier-free environment
  • Positive discrimination through earmarking not less than 3% of benefits under various employment cum poverty alleviation programmes like IRDP, JRY, NRY, PMRY, EAP, DWCRA etc.
  • Strengthening and expansion of existing National Institutes for the persons with disabilties
  • Special efforts will be made to equip the persons with disabilities with most suitable, simple, durable and inexpensive Aids and Appliances
  • Setting up of a National Trust to ensure total care and custodianship of those with Mental Retardation and Cerebral Palsy.

3.10.15 The Ninth Plan reaffirms the earlier commitment of making as many disabled as possible active, self-reliant and productive contributors to the national economy. Accordingly, it lays special emphasis on adopting an integrated approach to empowering the disabled and thus mainstream them. To this effect, systematic efforts will be made to converge the existing services under the welfare-related sectors of health, nutrition, education, science and technology, rural development, urban development, women and child development, information and broadcasting etc. In these efforts, the rural disabled, who have been neglected all through, will receive special attention. To this effect, efforts will be made to reach the services to the rural disabled right upto the district level and with perspectives to extend upto the village level in a phased way starting from the Ninth Plan, through a comprehensive programme viz. `National Programme for Rehabilitation of persons with disablities’, being launched during the Ninth Plan, as a major effort in this direction.

3.10.16 Empowerment of the persons with disabilities, who are differently abled, will be a continuous process wherein the joint efforts of both governmental and non-governmental organisations will be put into action to create an enabling environment for the disabled to exercise their rights for equal opportunities and full participation with the strength and support of the recently enacted Persons with Disabilities(PD) Act, 1995 and the relevant support structures, mechanisms and services. As the envisaged empowerment of the disabled is mainly based upon the PD Act of 1995, every effort will be made towards its effective enforcement on a priority basis.

3.10.17 Considering the size of the population of the persons with disabilities and the slow pace of the implementation of policies and programmes, concerted efforts will be made to strengthen/expand the out-reach and coverage of services. Programmes catering to the needs of the persons with disabilities under various sectors will be reviewed and co-ordinated to converge all the related services in such a manner that the inter-sectoral support gets strengthened towards empowering the persons with disabilities.

3.10.18 The strategy of the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) will be put into action towards pooling the efforts of the persons with disabilties, their families and the communities, as well as that of the concerned Ministries/Departments in a coordinated way. To fill the existing void in the rural areas, efforts will be made to promote the CBR through voluntary organisations.

3.10.19 Special efforts will be made to strengthen the preventive measures as the incidence of the disability can be prevented through early detection and timely intervention. Therefore, priority attention will be given to early detection and treatment by taking advantage of the latest technologies. To prevent certain disabilities and arrest their increase, the on-going supplementary nutrition feeding programmes including prophylaxis against Vitamin A, anaemia and Iodine deficiency as pronounced in the Special Plan of Action of 1998, will be strengthened and expanded. Similarly, universalization of immunization will be attended to on a priority basis. The frequency and coverage of programmes like Pulse Polio will be continued in an expanded manner and at regular intervals, till the problem is completely eradicated. National campaigns to eradicate diseases like measles and mumphs will be undertaken as these are the diseases which lead to various disabilities. Safety measures for prevention of accidents on roads and at work- places including the industrial and agricultural operations and road transport, will receive special attention. Along with these direct short-term measures, education and awareness generation to the family and the community will receive priority attention as part of the long-term measures for preventing various disabilities. In this direction, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) will be utilised to help the family, especially the mothers, to ensure effective health and nutrition care, early detection and timely treatment. For this, special training will be provided to mothers, ICDS functionaries and the para-medical staff associated with ICDS. Priority will also be accorded to spread the messages of health and nutrition education and awareness, especially amongst the mothers to ensure proper dietary intake for themselves and their children.

3.10.20 To mainstream the persons with disabilities, the major strategy will be to encourage more and more children with disabilities to join the Integrated Schools by extending special incentives like free books, uniforms, transport and aids and appliances etc. so that the disabled children will be able to complete their school education in these Integrated Schools, which are equipped with infrastructural facilities, support services and barrier-free environment. Besides, the ongoing scheme of the Integrated Education for the Disabled Children (IEDC) will be further expanded during the Ninth Plan to meet the growing demand for these types of schools, especially in the context of enacting the P.D. Act, 1995, ensuring equal opportunities for the disabled. In this regard, special attention will be paid to those districts which have poor, or no, educational facilities of Integrated Education.

3.10.21 Vocational training programmes for the persons with disabilities, which are employment-oriented, will be increased substantially by activating the existing Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Craft Training Centres (CTCs) and Vocational Rehabilitation Centres (VRCs). Simultaneously, efforts will also be made to set up Training-cum-Production Centres and Sheltered Workshops to ensure that the trained persons with disabilities are kept gainfully engaged either on wage or self-employment. While planning for the training programmes for the disabled, every effort will be made to diversify the trades, besides giving priority to the up-coming trades, keeping in view the trends and the demands in the employment market.

3.10.22 Earmarking of certain percentage of benefits for the disabled under various poverty alleviation programmes like IRDP, DWCRA, JRY, EAP etc. will be made as the entry-points to reach the rural persons with disabilities. Further, income-generation activities will be initiated for the rural disabled through Self-Help Groups called `Sangams' on the lines of DWCRA. Priority will be given to impart vocational training to women and adolescent girls with disabilities. The activities of the National Handicapped and Finance Development Corporation set up in 1997 will be made functionally effective to play the role of a catalytic agent in promoting employment opportunities, both wage and self- employment, for the persons with disabilities. Besides, the Corporation will also extend `forward' and `backward' linkages of credit and marketing facilities to those disabled who would like to venture into entrepreneurial efforts.

3.10.23 The implementation of the policy of 3 per cent reservation of vacancies for the blind, deaf and orthopaedically disabled in Group `A', `B', `C' and `D' posts in Central Services and in the Public Sector Undertakings, will be monitored on a continuous basis and stock-taking will be done at regular intervals both at the Central and State levels. The Ninth Plan recognises the need for employment/placement services of the persons with disabilities as a priority area. These special needs are expected to be met through the new strategies that are being contemplated by the nodal Ministry of Labour Welfare.

3.10.24 To deal effectively with problems in the areas of research, training and development of manpower in the context of providing a complete package of preventive-cum-curative-cum- rehabilitative services to the persons with disabilities, all the existing National Institutes will be activated and their services streamlined. The District Rehabilitation Centres meant for the rural persons with disabilities will be further strengthened to cater to the needs of all the rural disabled in their respective districts. To ensure effective implementation of policies and programmes for the rehabilitation of the disabled and to maintain a uniform/minimum standard of training services, programmes of the Rehabilitation Council of India, located at New Delhi will be streamlined. While the existing National Institutes will be devising practical strategies to extend services to the disabled living in the backward rural and remote tribal areas, the Ninth Plan will programme to set up an exclusive National Institute for Multiple Disabilities.

3.10.25 Also, the Ninth Plan commits to ensure effective integration of the on-going efforts of S and T with developmental pursuits so as to improve the quality of life. In line with this, special endeavour will be to equip the persons with disabilities with simple, suitable, durable and inexpensive aids and appliances so as to improve their functional ability and enable them to take up various income generation activities to become economically independent and self-reliant. To this effect, the Artificial Limb Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), Kanpur will be directed to develop and produce cost-effective aids and appliances on a large scale. Linkages and mechanisms for effective application of science and technology would be established with all those concerned so as to tackle the rehabilitation problems of disabilities with right type of aids and appliances.

3.10.26 In order to have a User-Friendly Programme, the Science and Technology in Mission Mode Project will continue its Research and Development (R and D) activities for generating new cost- effective and easy-to-handle technologies for the disabled. In addition to this, the ongoing collaborative efforts of the nodal Ministry of Welfare, the Department of Science and Technology and the Defence Research and Development Organisation, New Delhi will continue, during the Ninth Plan, not only to standardise the production of polymeric composite rehabilitation aids for the polio-affected, physically disabled but also to produce aids and appliances for rehabilitating the persons with other disabilities also.

3.10.27 To address the problems relating to both mental disability and mental health, efforts will be made to extend convergence of the available services of health, welfare and other related sectors, including that of the voluntary sector. Special thrust will be given for the prevention, the early detection, speech and communication, vocational training, family and community orientation, etc. In all these efforts, voluntary organisations will continue to be involved very closely in view of their experience and established credentials.

3.10.28 The Ninth Plan envisages the setting up of a National Trust to ensure total care and custodianship of those with mental retardation and cerebral palsy. For the welfare and care of the Spastics, special service centres will be set up to cater to the urban slums and backward rural areas, undertake large-scale manpower development programmes, and evolve new approaches to information, dissemination and community awareness. rehabilitative services, like appropriate treatment, psychological support, day-care centres and specialised training for manpower development, especially in the area of cerebral palsy and mental retardation, will be expanded.

3.10.29 To assess the status of women and girls with disabilities, needs-assessment survey will be conducted. The findings of these surveys will be used in improvising/ developing educational, vocational training and employment packages with necessary support services for women with the ultimate goal of equipping them to become economically independent and self- reliant. In fulfilment of the `Women's Component Plan', every effort will be made to ensure that adequate funds/benefits flow to women with disabilities from all the relevant programmes.

3.10.30 Voluntary organisations, who have been playing an important role in the delivery of services for the persons with disabilities, will be supported to widen their operations so as to reach the unreached, viz. the rural disabled. They will be involved in sensitizing the rural population towards prevention, early detection, timely intervention, appropriate referral and follow-up services, rehabilitation etc. Voluntary organisations, especially working for Spastics, mentally retarded and leprosy- cured patients, will be supported with adequate funding.

3.10.31 To ensure planning for the welfare and development of the disabled more meaningfully, there is an impending need for the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, to revive their practice of 1981 Census to collect the data on the size of the population of persons with various types of disabilities and to make it available through the next Population Census of 2001 AD.

Reforming the Social Deviants


  • To tackle the increasing problem of maladjustment
  • Efforts will be made in close collaboration with both Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations for effective enforcement of the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act), 1986
  • Ensure minimum standard of services in the various mandatory institutions set up all over the country under JJ Act, 1986
  • Encourage more and more voluntary organisations to take up the responsibility of extending welfare cum rehabilitative services for reforming the juvenile delinquents / juvenile vagrants and other children who come in conflict with law
  • To control / reduce the ever increasing / emerging problems of alcoholism, drug addiction, HIV Aids etc.
  • Strict enforcement of legislation to prohibit / restrict the production of alcoholic drinks with necessary punitive measures
  • Expand the services of preventive, curative and rehabilitative services through counselling ; running de-addiction camps / centres
  • To develop an integrated strategy involving all the concerned to curb the ever increasing inter-related problems of drug-addiction and HIV / AIDS
  • Launching of awareness generation programmes / campaigns to educate / sensitise and make people especially the younger generation conscious of the ill effects of these problems

3.10.32 Keeping in view the increasing problems of social mal- adjustment viz. juvenile delinquency/vagrancy, abuse, crime, and exploitation, the scope of the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act), 1986 will be widened with requisite infrastructural support of various statutory institutions in rehabilitating children, who come in conflict with law. A definite thrust will be given to developing appropriate/suitable services under juvenile justice. Necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the State Governments strictly adhere to the directives given under the JJ Act, 1986 and also set up the required number of institutions and deploy the staff, accordingly. Further, the norms and standard of services in various institutions under the JJ Act will be reviewed to identify gaps in the existing services and initiate action to lay down the minimum standard of services. To initiate preventive and rehabilitative measures, efforts will be made to identify the specific areas infested with these social problems of delinquency and destitution. Further, the existing State and Central level monitoring systems will be activated to ensure effective implementation of the JJ Act of 1986.

3.10.33 In order to arrest the growing problem of alcoholism, effective measures will be taken to restrict/reduce the production of alcohol within the country and keep a special check and close vigil on the flow of liquor from abroad. Further, prohibition as contemplated, will be treated as a national endeavour to overcome the problem of alcoholism and its consequences. To this effect, efforts will be made to impress upon the States to control/eradicate this serious problem of alcoholism from the society. Apart from the strict enforcement of the legislation, the role of the mass media would be enlarged to send powerful/effective messages about the ill-effects of the two social evils of drug and alcoholic addiction which ruin the family and the society. The services of counselling, de- addiction, rehabilitation, after-care and awareness generation will be expanded to reach the unreached.

3.10.34 As the problems of alcoholism, drug addiction and HIV/AIDS are inter-related, the Ninth Plan envisages the development of an integrated approach to curb the increasing magnitude of these problems with effective co-ordination amongst the concerned Ministries viz. Home Affairs, Finance, Health, Welfare, Information and Broadcasting and the voluntary sector. As a first step in this direction, action will be initiated immediately to identify those areas in the country which are infested with these problems and concentrated attention will be paid to curb the nexus of these inter-related problems. Measures for enforcement of the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1988 will be further tightened towards effective control over the flow of drugs and detention of persons trafficking in drugs. Also, simultaneous efforts will be made to strengthen the existing de-addiction-cum- rehabilitation Centres and expand the services to cover those areas, which are left uncovered. In all these efforts, the North Eastern Region, especially the State of Manipur, where the menace has already taken very serious proportions will receive prioirity attention during the Ninth Plan. To make these efforts effective, the local voluntary organisations will be actively involved to act as interface between the governmental agencies and the target groups.

3.10.35 For the prevention of the age-long problem of beggary, a three-way approach will be adopted. The first step being preventive in nature, special squads will be activated to round up the beggars from all the public places especially at religious/pilgrimage Centres on a continuing basis, till no such people are visible in the public places. The second and the third are curative and rehabilitative in nature. While all those, who become beggars due to poverty, will be dealt with by keeping them gainfully employed through various employment-cum income generation programmes/social assistance programmes, those, who opt wilfully and adopt begging as a profession, will be tackled through effective implementation of legislation and stringent measures of punishment.

3.10.36 The National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), located at New Delhi, will be strengthened/activated with the much-needed professional staff and basic infrastructure and encouraged to develop professional linkages with the line- agencies like National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), New Delhi; Police Research Bureau, New Delhi; National Academy of Police, Hyderabad and the State Police Training Institutes, so as to meet the growing needs of research and training in the field of Social Defence.

Caring the Other Disadvantaged


  • To tackle the ever increasing problem of Street Children through :
    • More emphasis on preventive measures through various developmental services for children like, integrated child development services, compulsory primary education, supplementary feeding programmes, health and referral services etc.
    • Priority for non-institutional services through restoring the street children to their families and to Foster Families
    • Review / re-orientation and expansion of the existing limited services for Street Children, both institutional and non-institutional by involving more and more NGOs
  • Policy Commitments for the well-being of Older Persons
    • Direct Policy prescriptions to extend support for financial security, health care, shelter, welfare and other needs of older persons
    • To provide protection against the dangers of life and property; abuse and exploitation of older persons.
    • To extend opportunities for older persons to contribute their mite in various developmental activities
  • To curb the social evils like prostitution, beggary through:
    • Strict enforcement of the related legislations with rigorous punitive measures
    • Special programmes for economic rehabilitation of the disadvantaged women
    • Special Packages for the development of the Girl Child with a special focus on her educational development which would prevent the Girl Children from becoming victims of these types of social evils
    • Continuous awareness generation campaigns to sensitise the society and change the mind-set of the people
  • To strengthen the National Institute of Social Defence, New Delhi to extend its technical advice and support in this Area

3.10.37 Programmes for the Elderly, will be taken up in the Ninth Plan to ensure their well-being and continued participation in the community. The immediate social institutions of family and the community will be mobilised to play their catalytic role in the effective implementation of the programmes for the Elderly. Priority attention will be paid to the Elderly, especially in the rural areas, in extending the most wanted health care, housing, shelter, pension etc. Also, efforts will be made to reach/disseminate information regarding various welfare measures and special concessions being extended to the `Senior Citizens', so that the rural Elderly can also come forward to enjoy these privileges along with their urban counterparts. The insurance sector will also be encouraged to formulate special health insurance programmes for the benefit of the Elderly. In extending housing facilities, the concept of `Sheltered Homes' for the lonely/destitute Elderly will be explored with the help of private and public agencies as well as the NGOs. In order to facilitate productive ageing, the services of the Elderly will be made use of by involving them in various developmental activities.

3.10.38 The Scheme of Old Age Pension will be reviewed and efforts will be made to rationalise the same in terms of providing at least the barest minimum subsistence and expand its coverage, wherever possible. The Panchayati Raj institutions will be actively involved in the implementation of various welfare schemes particularly with regard to selection of beneficiaries and disbursement of funds. The voluntary organisations will be encouraged to set up `Homes for the Aged/Homes for the Destitutes/Homes for the Dying' so as to meet the increasing need for such services. Through effective advocacy, efforts will be made to promote awareness amongst the people to plan in advance for the old age. To develop greater sensitivity and better attention towards the needs of the Elderly, action will be initiated to expedite the finalisation/ adoption of the `National Policy on Older Persons'.

3.10.39 Amongst the disadvantaged, the Street Children are the most vulnerable. To tackle the growing problem of Street Children, the existing schemes for the welfare and development of Street Children will be reviewed and restructured keeping in view the Child's Rights with perspectives for necessary expansion. Towards this end, emphasis will be given to provide adequate health, nutrition, education, vocational training and other related services to ensure healthy development of these children so as to make them productive members of the society. The National Charter for Children evisaged in the Ninth Plan promises to ensure that no child remains illiterate, hungry or lack of medical care. In line with this, special efforts will be made to ensure that no street/destitute/orphaned child or any other child in difficult situations will be left uncovered for. The emerging threats from Drug and Psycho-tropic Substances as well as HIV/AIDS to Street Children will receive special attention. The voluntary organisations, which are already engaged in this area, will be further encouraged with necessary support to reach as many Street Children, as possible.

3.10.40 The other disadvantaged, who include the destitutes, deserted, widowed, orphaned and women and children in moral and social danger, will continue to receive priority attention in the Ninth Plan with a special focus on the child/women prostitutes. The evil of prostitution and its diverse manifestations viz. Devadasis, Basavis, Jogins etc. will be tackled not only through strict enforcement of the law but also through building strong public opinion and support along with police and community vigilance. Special programmes will be designed for economic rehabilitation of these disadvantaged women. The special package launched for the girl-child in 1997 will act as a measure to prevent the girl children from becoming victims of these types of social evils. More details are available under the Chapter on `Empowerment of Women and Development of Children'. As regards the welfare of destitute women and children, the State governments will be encouraged to continue the ongoing programmes with further expansion so as to meet the increasing need.

3.10.41 While planning, programming and budgetting various services under Social Welfare sector, special efforts will be made to ensure that a definite percentage of the benefits are earmarked for women and girl children under the Special Component Plan for Women as they are the most vulnerable to become easy victims of all types of social evils/social problems and of the emerging situations.


3.10.42 The policies and programmes relating to welfare and development of the persons with disabilities, the destitutes and the elderly received priority within the Social Welfare sector during the Eighth Plan. Along with these, the problems of drug abuse, prostitution, delinquency and beggary also received special attention.

Persons with Disabilities

3.10.43 The major policy thrust in the Eighth Plan was to make as many Persons with Disabilities as possible active, self-dependent and productive members of the society by extending opportunities for education, vocational training and economic rehabilitation etc. Efforts were also made to integrate the services for the Persons with Disabilities covering the entire range of activities starting from early detection, prevention, treatment, cure and rehabilitation.


Enactment of ‘Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation), Act, 1995 ‘ is an important landmark in the history of social welfare planning to ensure equal opportunities and protection of rights and full participation of Persons with Disabilities in the nation-building. Some of the special features of the Act include :

Prevention and Early Detection of Disabilities

  • All children shall be screened once a year for identifying  ‘at – risk’ cases
  • Staff of Primary Health Centres shall be trained to assist in this work
  • Measures shall be taken for pre-natal, perinatal, and postnatal care of the mother and child.


  • Every child with disability shall have the right to free education till the age of 18 years with free books, uniforms and scholarships/ appropriate transportation and barrier-free environment.
  • Teacher’s Training Institutions shall be established to develop requisite manpower.


  • 3% vacancies in Government shall be reserved
  • Governmental Educational Institutions including those receiving grant from the Government shall reserve at least 3% of seats
  • No employee can be sacked / demoted if they become disabled during service.

Affirmative Action

  • Aids and Appliances shall be made available.
  • Allotment of land shall be made at concessional rates for housing, business, special schools etc.


  • All the places of public utilities shall be made barrier-free to give easy access.

3.10.44 The enactment of a comprehensive legislation namely, "The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995", which came into effect in 1996, was a significant achievement in the history of the welfare and development of the Persons with Disabilities. The legislation, which is the most progressive in its thinking and approach, seeks to empower the Persons with Disabilities to demand the elimination of any discrimination against them and creation of a new society which can ensure protection of their rights, equal opportunities to them, and their full participation to realise their potentials. Action on the implementation of the Act has started in the right earnest, as an ongoing process during the Eighth Plan period.

3.10.45 Placement of the persons with disabilities in jobs was arranged through 50 Special Employment Exchanges and 39 Special Cells in the normal Employment Exchanges. As regards the number of the Persons with Disabilities persons on the Live Registers, there has been an increase from 3,23,220 in 1992 to 3,53,743 in 1995. As per the information available from the Live Registers from all over the country, 16,948 persons with various disabilities received placement during 1992-95.

3.10.46 To extend employment-cum-income generating opportunities for the Persons with Disabilities and to integrate them into the mainstream of economic activities, a National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) was set up in 1997. The Corporation is expected to play the role of an apex organisation and assist, coordinate and monitor the work of the State level Corporations and other voluntary organisations working for the economic betterment of the Persons with Disabilities. While extending support to the Persons with Disabilities through NHFDC, preference is being given to persons with disabilities in rural areas with a specific ceiling on income.

3.10.47 The eleven District Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs), functioning in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashthra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal extended comprehensive rehabilitation services including early detection, medical intervention, fitment of aids and appliances etc. to the Persons with Disabilities especially in the rural and interior areas. The DRCs also carried out special surveys of the Persons with Disabilities population. The four Regional Rehabilitation Training Centres (RRTC), located at Chennai, Cuttack, Lucknow and Mumbai, extended technical support to these eleven DRCs and conducted full-time training and management programmes to the field level functionaries working in the area of rehabilitation of the Persons with Disabilities.


  • To extend the necessary technical advice and support to the Government for formulating need-based policies and programmes; experiment / demonstrate innovative projects; conduct / sponsor research and evaluation and develop manpower with necessary training and orientation programmes, the following 7 National Institutions are in effective action :
    • National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehradun
    • National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped, Calcutta
    • Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai
    • Natioanal Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad
    • National Institute for Research, Training and Rehabilitation, Cuttack
    • Institute for Physically Handicapped, New Delhi
    • Rehabilitation Council of India, New Delhi

These Institutes are the fore-runners as well as trend-setters in their respective areas of specialisation. They offer a variety of long-term training programmes leading to degree / diplomas and also short-term Courses.

3.10.48 In consonance with the policy of providing a complete package of welfare and rehabilitative services to the persons with physical and mental disabilities and to deal with their multi-dimensional problems, the four national institutes, viz. National Institute of Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Dehradun; National Institute of Orthopaedically Handicapped, (NIOH), Calcutta; National Institute of Hearing Handicapped (NIHH), Mumbai; National Institute of Mentally Handicapped, (NIMH), Hyderabad; and the other two apex level Organisations viz., the Institute of Physically Handicapped (IPH), New Delhi and the National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (NIRTAR), Cuttack offered a wide range of services in the field of education, training, manpower, vocational guidance, counselling, research, rehabilitation and development of low-cost aids and appliances etc. They also offered a variety of training courses starting from short-term Certificate and Diploma Courses to three year Degree Courses in mental retardation, physio-therapy, occupational therapy, communication disorders, prosthetic and orthotic engineering, audiology, speech therapy as well as training of teachers etc. The clinical and rehabilitation units of these Institutes served as in-house laboratories for both the trainers and the trainees besides providing the base for conducting research projects and extending clinical and para- medical services to the patients. Thus, these Institutes played a significant role in meeting the training needs of the technical manpower to extend specialised services to the Persons with Disabilities in the country. Besides the regular academic courses, the National Institutes also conducted a large number of short-term training courses, seminars, orientation courses and camps etc. These provided a forum for creating awareness amongst the community at large for bringing the Persons with Disabilities population closer to the organisations working for their welfare; and providing opportunities for exchange of information, knowledge and experience amongst the academicians, professionals, doctors, village/community level workers and all those associated with the disability and welfare and development of the Persons with Disabilities.

3.10.49 The scheme to provide durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured aids and appliances for the physically disabled, continued with a lower coverage as compared to the increasing demand for these. Financial assistance was provided to 346 implementing agencies located in different parts of the country and by the end of 1996, more than 2.53 lakh Persons with Disabilities persons received benefit under this programme during the Eighth Plan period. In order to provide cost-effective aids and appliances through the application of modern technology, 58 Research and Development (R and D) Projects were identified and funded under the scheme of Science and Technology (S and T) Mission Mode Project. Some of the devices developed through the scheme include close circuit television with magnifying facilities as low vision feeding aids for children with cerebral palsy, safety devices for use in agricultural machinery, computerised Braille embosser, inter-pointing Braille writing frame, etc. Steps were also taken to start production of these aids at reasonable prices so as to make them available to the needy. Among others, the projects on development of footwear for leprosy-cured persons and training of visually disabled persons on Computers received assistance during the Plan period.

3.10.50 The Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO), set up at Kanpur in 1972, continued to manufacture standard aids and appliances for the persons with disabilities. During the Eighth Five Year Plan, the manufacturing plants of ALIMCO were modernised so as to ensure quality control. To reach the limb fitting facilities to the persons with disabilities in remote areas, 6 Regional Limb Fitting Centres and 20 Peripheral Limb Fitting Centres were set up in the existing medical colleges as part of the Health Plan of the State Governments. To these centres, ALIMCO extended technical know-how on fitment procedures and use of tools and materials required for the fabrication of orthoses/prostheses. The ALIMCO also assisted the Government of Orissa and Uttar Pradesh for establishing Limb-Fitting Centres in their States.

3.10.51 In addition to the existing Special Schools for education of the childern with disabilities, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment initiated a Scheme of Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for the establishment and upgradation of Special Schools in 1993-94. Under the scheme, priority was given for the setting up of schools in the districts where there were no Special Schools. By the end of March 1997, around 6127 disabled children have been benefited through 93 voluntary organisations.

3.10.52 Under the scheme of Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for the Persons with Disabilities, financial support was given (upto December 1996) to 1628 voluntary organisations for extending services to 4.00 lakh persons with disabilities through vocational training centres, special schools, counselling centres, training centres for the personnel and placement services etc. Voluntary organisations were also assisted to extend rehabilitation services to leprosy-cured persons in the areas of education, vocational training, economic rehabilitation, social integration and for running training courses to teachers specialised in the area of cerebral-palsy and mental retardation.

3.10.53 The Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), New Delhi set up in 1986, has been playing an important role in ensuring the quality of services in the crucial area of manpower development and in enforcing uniform standards in training professionals in the field of rehabilitation for the disabled. In 1993, the RCI was converted into a statutory body through the enactment of the RCI Act, 1992 which came into force in July, 1993. So far, the RCI has developed 47 training programmes of both short and long-term durations and had registered a total of 1465 Rehabilitation Professionals / Personnel in the Central Rehabilitation Register till March, 1997. To conduct recognised training programmes, the Council has identified/recognised 91 institutions in the country. Besides these, the RCI also conducted joint entrance examinations on all India basis for the courses in physio-therapy, occupational therapy, prosthetic and orthotic engineering, etc. for the National Institutes.

3.10.54 An Indian Spinal Injury Centre was set up at New Delhi in collaboration with the Italian Government to extend comprehensive treatment, rehabilitation and vocational training and guidance to the spinal injury patients. The Centre also conducted research in multi-dimensional aspects of rehabilitation of such patients. In addition to these specific programmes, there have been many other support programmes for persons with disabilities in other developmental sectors like health, education, labour and employment, as listed below :

3.10.55 In the field of health, a number of ongoing programmes have a direct bearing on the prevention and reduction of the incidence of the various disabilities. They include eradication of smallpox, leprosy, control of blindness, control of iodine deficiency disorders, national mental health programme, universal immunization programme, child survival and safe motherhood and other maternal and child health services. The National Mental Health Programme launched in 1992 with the sole objective of improving mental health services at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Efforts were also made during the Eighth Plan to integrate mental health care with primary health care. Details of various services extended under this programme are given under the Chapter on `Health and Family Welfare'. In addition to these, while the apex institutions such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Chandigarh and the All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mumbai, have been extending rehabilitation services to the persons with locomotor disablility, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore has been contributing for the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded and spastics. The All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore is yet another agency which has been contributing towards rehabilitating the persons with hearing and speech disabilities.

3.10.56 Similarly, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), New Delhi, in collaboration with the Ministry of Welfare, Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, has been involved in various R and D activities to standardise the production of Polymeric Composite Rehabilitation Aids for polio-affected physically disabled. The aim of the project was to develop different rehabilitation aids in standard sizes under a DST-funded programme and evolve effective productionisation techniques. The aids identified were Floor Reaction Orthosis (FRO), socket for lower limb amputees, prosthetic foot and calipers made of fibre reinforced plastics. FRO is a device meant for people having disability due to polio and having basically a `hand on knee' gait due to weak quadriceps. FRO made of polymers and their composites developed by IIT, Bombay weigh only 1/5th of the weight of a corresponding metallic caliper. DRDO has been working on standardizing different sizes, limiting them to 8 sizes, which are likely to cover the majority of the population, after doing detailed anthropometric studies on about 500 polio-effected people, especially children. Different modules of FRO are being assembled at limb fitting centres in the country, which are equipped with some basic facilities like heat gun etc. The District Rehabilitation Centres (DRC) of the Ministry of Welfare were also involved at the field-level trial stage. After doing the clinical trials in 6 identified validation Centres, the sizes will be frozen to go for production. In order to have the trained people ready to adopt the technology, a three-week training programme for doctors has also been planned for during 1997.

3.10.57 In the field of education, the National Policy on Education (1986) extended its support in advocating equal educational opportunities for the Persons with Disabilities. It envisaged universalization of elementary education for children with mild and moderate disabilities by 1990 and 1995 respectively and for those with severe disabilities by 2000 A.D. In the Eighth Five Year Plan, a special thrust was laid on providing educational services to the disabled children in a sensitized community atmosphere with the provision of adequate infrastructural support. In order to provide educational opportunities for the Persons with Disabilities children in common schools so as to facilitate their retention in the school system, the Department of Education has been implementing a scheme of Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) since 1982-83 and more than 50,000 disabled children have been covered in 12,292 schools so far. Under the community-based and innovative District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) launched during 1994 in 60 districts, integrated education for children with mild to moderate disabilities was given special emphasis. In addition, the Project `Integrated Education for the Disabled (PIED)' initiated by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) with UNICEF assistance in 1987, continued to strengthen the implementation of the scheme of IEDC in a selected block in 10 States. An external evaluation of this project in 1994 showed that not only the enrolment rate of disabled children increased considerably but the retention rate amongst the disabled children has also increased to as high as 95 per cent which is much higher than that of the non-disabled children in the same blocks. Over 6,000 disabled children have been covered in 1382 schools under Project Integrated Education for the Disabled (PIED).

3.10.58 The Central scheme to award Scholarships to the Disabled students to pursue general, technical and professional courses from Class IX onwards on the basis of means-cum-merit test was transferred to the States from 1993-94. All the States implemented programmes for providing scholarships to the Persons with Disabilities at the elementary and secondary stages in the schools. A few States provided free books and extended scholarship to the disabled students for music, vocational, technical and other professional courses.

3.10.59 Under the Employment sector, the vocational training facilities for the persons with disabilities were expanded through a grant-in-aid programme. At present, there exist 852 government-run and 105 private-run Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in the country which provide 3 per cent reservation of seats for persons with disabilities. The National Council of Vocational Training, a non-statutory body set up by the Ministry of Labour, formulated a policy of 3 per cent reservation of seats for trainees with locomotor disability in all the ITIs in both engineering and non-engineering trades. In order to facilitate speedy rehabilitation of the persons with disabilitiesd, Skill Training Workshops (STWs) have also been attached to all the existing seven Vocational Rehabilitation Centres (VRCs) located at Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad and Kanpur. Rehabilitation services to the rural Persons with Disabilities were being extended through Mobile Camps and 11 Rural Rehabilitation Extension Centres(RRECs) set up in 11 Blocks and 5 VRCs located at Mumbai, Calcutta, Kanpur, Ludhiana and Chennai. By 1996, 8,288 blind, 10,376 deaf and dumb, 67,656 orthopaedically disabled and 1,690 persons with other disabilities were rehabilitated. To support economic activities of the Persons with Disabilities, the Ministry of Rural Areas and Employment has initiated action to allocate 3 per cent of funds under all the Poverty Alleviation Programmes, except in respect of Employment Assurance Scheme and Jawahar Rozgar Yojana. Action was taken to extend credit facilities to the Persons with Disabilities under the Integrated Rural Development Programme.

3.10.60 Various concessions have also been extended to persons with disabilities through executive orders/notifications both by the Government of India and the State Governments. To illustrate, the Indian Postal Services deliver Braille literature free of cost to various Libraries for the Blind. Organisations working for the persons with disabilities get rebate in telephone rentals. Blind persons can travel by the Indian Railways, by paying 1/4 of the normal fare for themselves and their escorts. The Indian Airlines give 50 per cent concession to blind people on domestic flights.

The Social Deviants

3.10.61 To tackle the problem of social maladjustment amongst children, Central assistance was provided to States/UTs for setting up Observation Homes, Juvenile Homes and upgradation of the existing Institutions etc. Under the scheme of Prevention and Control of Juvenile Social Maladjustment, about 280 Observation Homes, 251 Juvenile Homes, 36 Special Homes and 46 After-care Homes have been supported. In addition, 271 Welfare Boards and 189 Juvenile Courts were functioning in the country.

3.10.62 The Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 provides for non-institutional treatment of offenders. This approach has been universally recognised as the most scientific and economical alternative to imprisonment. According to the Act, administrative infrastructure has already been established in more than 400 districts of the country, thus providing a good base to build these services further.

3.10.63 The problem of alcoholism/drug abuse received priority attention in the Eighth Plan by curbing the illicit trafficking of drugs/liquor within and across the border; and by demand reduction through building awareness and educating people about the ill effects of alcoholism/drug abuse. While the control of supply of these toxic substances was taken care of by the Narcotic Control Bureau and the Police, the welfare and rehabilitation aspects were attended to by the nodal Ministry of Welfare through a comprehensive programme of `Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for Prohibition and Prevention of Drug Abuse and De-addiction and Rehabilitation of Drug and Alcoholic Addicts' launched in Eighties. To enlarge its scope and effectiveness, certain modifications were brought in to reformulate the scheme in 1994. Voluntary organisations were assisted in creating awareness about the ill-effects alcoholism and drug abuse, counselling services to addicts and their families, referral services for hard-core addicts to De-addiction-Cum-Rehabilitation Centres and for follow-up services.

3.10.64 By March, 1997, 218 Awareness/Counselling and Assistance Centres and 123 De-addiction/Rehabilitation Centres were functioning in the country. As a result of the implementation of the programme, the number of drug addicts registered in these Centres started declining steadily from 3.12 lakh in 1994-95 to 2.82 lakh in 1995-96 and 1.25 lakh till September 1996. During this period, 3.75 lakh drug addicts were detoxified in various Centres in the country. Of this, 32,819 drug addicts were detoxified in 18 De-addiction Centres of the North Eastern region where the problem of drug addiction is acute. Further, the Ministry of Welfare, in collaboration with United Nations Drug Control Programme(UNDCP) took up a number of projects which include Community Drug Rehabilitation and Work Place Prevention Programme. Under this programme, 20 voluntary organisations were identified in different parts of the country and were given extensive training in rehabilitation of drug addicts.

3.10.65 In order to cover a wide spectrum of programme/areas for tackling the social problems, the grant-in-aid scheme for `Assistance to Voluntary Organisations in the field of Social Defence' was continued. Support was extended to the research schemes for pilot projects in unattended and neglected areas and social problems of an inter-State character. Under this scheme, 17 projects have been initiated for maintenance and rehabilitation of the children of prostitutes in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Delhi. To extend support for maintenance of the Central Office of the voluntary organisations, the scheme of Organisational Assistance to Voluntary Social Welfare Organisations was continued.

3.10.66 Efforts were continued by the States to prevent, control and rehabilitate beggars as provided under their respective anti-beggary legislations. At present, 16 State Governments and 2 Union Territory Administrations have enacted Anti-beggary Legislations. The Ministry of Welfare initiated a scheme for Beggary Prevention in 1992-93. Under this scheme, grant-in-aid was extended to NGOs for establishing Vocational Training Centres for the care, treatment and rehabilitation of beggars. Services in this field lacked uniformity.

3.10.67 The National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), New Delhi, functioning under the nodal Ministry of Welfare, continued to serve as the central advisory body in the field of prevention of crime, treatment of offenders in the areas of juvenile justice administration, welfare of prisoners, probation and allied measures, suppression of immoral traffic and drug-abuse prevention etc. The NISD organised training courses for various categories of personnel viz., government officials, social workers, counsellors, project managers, programme officers, prison welfare officers, enforcement machinery etc. in collaboration with State Governments, Universities and voluntary organisations in different parts of the country. During the Eighth Plan, the NISD organised 70 One-Week Regional Training Courses, 25 Two-Week Training Courses and 4 Training Courses of four days duration benefitting about 3400 personnel and workers engaged in the area of drug abuse prevention. The Institute being an advisory body in the field of `Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders', provided a research base for the identification and formulation of schemes suitable to different regions of the country. The Institute has contributed significantly to the laying down of a basic framework for handling and treatment of various categories of juvenile and adult offenders.

The Other Disadvantaged

3.10.68 Since the life expectancy in the country has improved, the proportion of the elderly population is on the rise. Correspondingly, the magnitude of the problems of the elderly is also increasing. To tackle the growing problem, a new scheme of assistance to voluntary organisations was introduced in 1992-93 for setting up/continuance of Day Care Centres, Old Age Homes, and Mobile Medicare Services. During the Eighth Plan period, voluntary organisations were assisted to establish 186 Old Age Homes, 223 Day Care Centres and 28 Mobile Medicare units. The other important welfare measure for the aged was the implementation of Old Age Pension Scheme under the State Sector. The rate of monthly pension varies from State to State and ranges between Rs.75 and Rs.200 per month. However, a majority of the States offer a minimum of Rs.100 per month. In August, 1995, a National Social Assistance Scheme was launched by the Department of Rural Development under which the Government of India announced Central assistance to States for providing old age pension of Rs.75 p.m. per beneficiary to the destitute or poor elderly of age 65 and above. While most of the States have adopted destitution as the criterion, some have adopted income approach also.

3.10.69 Due to rapid urbanisation and unabated migration of the rural poor, the population of destitutes, especially that of the street children, in urban centres is increasing. In order to tackle this problem, a scheme for the Welfare of Street Children was launched during 1992-93, to provide community-based non-institutional services for the care, protection and development of street children. The major components of the scheme are - identification of street children; mobilising nutritional support maintainance of the requisite level of physical and mental growth offering facilities for education, linking facilities for the training of street children in gainful vocations, trades and skills so as to enhance their earning capacity; promoting facilities for shelter and hygienic living; offering counselling, guidance and referral services. Under this scheme, all possible efforts are also made for re-integration of the street children with their families or their placement in a family setting and protecting the street children against all forms of abuse and exploitation. The scheme is being implemented through 81 voluntary organisations in 23 cities covering approximately 24000 street children under the guidance of a city level Task Force composed of Secretary, Social Welfare, Police Commissioner, Municipal Commissioner, Director, Social Welfare of the concerned State Government.

3.10.70 To streamline the adoption services, the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), set up in 1988 in pursuance of the directives of the Supreme Court, continued to act as a clearing house of information with regard to children available for adoption. To regulate inter-country adoption and formulate detailed procedures with regard to the adoption of children for foreign nationals, a revised guideline was notified in June, 1995. Around 82 national agencies and 286 foreign agencies were given recognition for dealing with the inter-country adoption cases in more than 25 countries. During the Eighth Plan, an estimated number of 7810 children have found homes through these agencies, of whom, 4456 are intra-country and 3354 are inter-country adoption. The cases of children adopted by the foreign nationals are monitored through the Embassies/High Commission of various countries. Voluntary organisations were also assisted for setting up Homes for Infants (Shishu Griha) since 1992-93 and for promoting intra-country adoption. By 1996, 66 such Homes came into operation.

3.10.71 All the above listed on-going programmes catering to the welfare and development of these Groups will appropriately be strengthened, streamlined and expanded ensuring qualitative and quantitative improvement during the Ninth Plan.

3.10.72 Most of the programmes under Social Welfare Sector are being implemented by the State Governments for the welfare and development of the Persons with Disabilities, the deviants, and the disadvantaged. They include special schools, scholarships, hostels, aids and appliances for the Persons with Disabilities; implementation of various social legislations like- Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (amended upto 1986), Probation of Offenders Act (1958), JJ Act (1986), Beggary Prevention Acts (State Acts) and setting up/maintenance of various mandatory institutions in the field of Social Defence like Juvenile Homes, Childrens' Homes, Children Boards, Observation Homes, Correctional Homes, Shelter Homes, Reception Homes, Nari Niketans, Beggar Homes etc; and other Social Welfare Institutions and services like Orphanages, Old Age Homes, Homes for the Destitute and Dying; welfare services for children and women in need of care and protection etc. In running these programmes, the central Ministry and its sub-ordinate organisations extend necessary guidance, advice, support and technical know-how in respect of the programmes for the persons with disabilities to the States/UTs.


3.10.73 The on-going efforts of research and evaluation will be oriented more towards the diagnostic and evaluative research in identifying the existing gaps, besides helping mid-term corrections in the ongoing programmes. At present, as there is no systematic monitoring of the implementation of various policies and programmes, efforts will be made to develop the required mechanisms, which would help ensure necessary feed-back for the quality of programmes. Efforts will also be made to ensure the setting up of similar mechanisms at State level.

3.10.74 The existing seven national level institutes will continue to undertake specialised area-wise research to provide necessary inputs to the Ministry of Welfare in developing appropriate strategies and packages for the development of the Persons with Disabilities. The National Institute of Social Defence, New Delhi will continue to serve the Ministry as an advisory body in the field of prevention of drug abuse, beggary, crime and the treatment of offenders etc.


3.10.75 The administrative machinery at the Centre for implementing the various social welfare programmes had been continuing without much of a change till 1985 when a separate Ministry of Welfare was set up. As part of the Ministry, exclusive Bureaux - one for the persons with disabilities and the other for the social welfare and social defence, continue to handle welfare and development of these groups. The six national institutes for the Persons with Disabilities, located at various places of the country, the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation, Kanpur; National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation, New Delhi and the National Institute of Social Defence, New Delhi function as support structures and assist the nodal Ministry in performing its administrative and developmental responsibilities. At the State level, while majority of the State Governments have exclusive Departments/Directorates of Social Welfare, a few States still continue to handle the social welfare programme in a scattered way. As these State Departments/Directorates are not equipped adequately with technical manpower, they need to be strengthened with professionally trained persons to ensure formulation of need-based programmes and their effective implementation. At the field level, the Panchayati Raj Institutions and the Local Bodies will be actively involved along with the voluntary sector and the community in implementing, coordinating and supervising/monitoring the welfare programmes. Upholding the spirit of `Co-operative Federalism', the Ninth Plan seeks more involvement and co-operation from the States/UTs in respect of social welfare/social defence programmes whose responsibility mainly rests with the State Sector.



Voluntary Organisations have been playing a very important role for the welfare and development of Social Welfare Groups viz., Persons with rehabilitation Disabilities, Juvenile Delinquents / Vagrants, Alcoholics and Drug Addicts, Sex Workers / Child Sex Workers, Working Children, Street Children, Destitutes / Deserted, Women and Girls in social / moral danger, Older Persons etc. who have special problems or living in problem situations. In handling / reforming / rehabilitating / caring these Special Groups, the contribution of the Voluntary Organisations which are in direct contact with these Target Groups has been very vital. In fact, the Social Welfare Services in the country have been developed on the strong foundations of the Voluntary Sector and still being continued through the country-wide network of the Voluntary Organisations which are more than 10,000 in number at present. Through this medium, services to these Special Groups are being reached to the most backward, remotest and inaccessible areas of the country.

3.10.76 The voluntary organisations, since history, have been playing a very important role in the field of social welfare. Their role as effective motivators in bringing the local government and the people together in working towards the well-being of the disadvantaged and the deprived as pressure groups in impressing upon the Government to extend social sanctions in favour of the deprived; and as an effective implementing force in translating the policies and programmes of the Government into action, has been successful in the past. Some of the voluntary organisations in the recent past have also proved their credentials in experimenting successful alternative models in providing certain specialised services for the welfare and rehabilitation of spastics/mentally retarded, drug addicts, leprosy affected, prostitutes, destitutes and the dying, street children etc. Another important area, where the voluntary sector made an effective entry is to change the mind-set/attitudes of the people to overcome the wrong and blind beliefs which are the causes for many present day social evils/problems. They can also be effective animators in generating awareness and thus, equip the target groups with necessary information about their rights and privileges besides the governmental efforts to improve the lot of the deprived and the disadvantaged groups. Therefore, efforts will be made to promote voluntary action especially in those areas where it is missing completely or weak.


3.10.77 While an outlay of Rs.1208.63 crore has been earmarked for the Social Welfare Sector at the Centre in the Ninth Plan(1997-2002), an amount of Rs.3348.12 crore has been earmarked (provisional) for Social Welfare programmes including for women and children in the State Sector for the Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002).

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