The lack of commitment and weak institutional capacity towards disabled people in India has led to decline in release and utilisation of funds allocated for them.
According to the figures released by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the funds allocated or released under the Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) in last three years has declined from Rs 14,960 (2013-14) lakhs to just Rs 6,599 lakhs (2015-16) because state governments could not spend the allocated fund.
The ministry’s explanation for poor expenditure was that the schemes are mostly demand driven which implies that actual release of funds can be affected only after receipt of complete proposal from the eligible state governments. This was stated in Raja Sabha in 2015, which Dr NC Saxena, former member of National Advisory Council cited while addressing the two-day national consultation organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
He said, often the proposals received are not complete which results in delay in releasing funds. Some of the state governments are also not well equipped to look into the requirement of various schemes which could lead to timely processing of the proposal.
Saxena said, “At the state level political and bureaucratic commitment to the Persons with Disability (PWD) Act remains a basic question.”
He added, “An evaluation done by the Planning Commission in 2013 revealed low awareness among PWDs of government schemes and weak channels to address the demand has all lead to low programme impact."
Mentioning about Indira Awas Yojna (rural housing), Saxena mentioned only 0.7 percent PWDs (persons with disability) are the beneficiary. The dissatisfaction with respect to rehabilitation under the scheme was high in the states of Odisha with 84.7 percent followed by Bihar 80.9 percent.