Disability in India: Facts and Figures

Disability in India

Census 2001 has revealed that over 21 million people in India as suffering from one or the other kind of disability. This is equivalent to 2.1% of the population. Among the total disabled in the country, 12.6 million are males and 9.3 million are females. Although the number of disabled is more in rural and urban areas. Such proportion of the disabled by sex in rural and urban areas. Such proportion has been reported between 57-58 percent for males and 42-43 percent females. The disability rate (number of disabled per 100,000 populations) for the country as whole works out to 2130. This is 2,369in the case of males and 1,874 in the case of females.

Five Types of Disabilities in India

Among the five types of disabilities on which data has been collected, disability In seeing at 48.5% emerges as the top category. Others in sequence are: In movement (27.9%), Mental (10.3%), In speech (7.5%), and In hearing (5.8%). The disabled by sex follow a similar pattern except for that the proportion of disabled females is higher in the category In seeing and In hearing.

Disability in India Statewise

Across the country, the highest number of disabled has been reported from the state of Uttar Pradesh (3.6 million). Significant numbers of disabled have also been reported from the state like Bihar (1.9 million), West Bengal (1.8million), Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra (1.6 million each). Tamil Nadu is the only state, which has a higher number of disabled females than males. Among the states, Arunachal Pradesh has the highest proportion of disabled males (66.6%) and lowest proportion of female disabled.

Disability in India NSSO 2002

At the all-India level, 45571 and 24731 households having at least one disabled person, selected from 4637 villages and 3354 urban blocks respectively, were surveyed. The number of disabled persons enumerated in rural and urban India was 49,300 and 26,679, respectively.

  • About 8.4 per cent and 6.1 per cent of the total estimated households in rural and urban India, respectively reported to have at least one disabled person.
  • The average size of these households was estimated to be 5.7 in both the sectors, which was significantly higher than the average household size in general.
  • The number of disabled persons in the country was estimated to be 18.49 million during July to December, 2002. They formed about 1.8 per cent of the total population.
  • About 10.63 per cent of the disabled persons suffered from more than one type of disabilities.
  • For every 100000 people in India, there were 1755 who were either mentally or physically disabled. Among the rural residents, the prevalence of disability was 1.85 per cent and that among the urban, it was 1.50 per cent. The rate for males was 2.12 and 1.67 per cent while that for females was 1.56 and 1.31 per cent in rural and urban India, respectively.
  • Among the different types of disabilities, the prevalence of locomotor disability was highest in the country – it was 1046 in the rural and 901 in the urban per 100000 persons. This was followed by visual disability and hearing disability.
  • About 69 persons per 100,000 were either born disabled or become disabled for some reasons in India during the last 365 days. The incidence rate was also observed to be higher among males than that among females.
    About 84 per cent of the mentally retarded and 82 per cent of the persons having speech disability were born with disability. For persons with other types of disability, they acquired disability during the course of life and it is largely associated with the old age.
  • About 13 per cent of the physically disabled were observed to be severely disabled as they could not take self-care even with aid/appliance.
  • About 47 per cent of the disabled were never married. The situation is worst among the mentally retarded..
    About 55 per cent of the disabled in India were illiterate and about 9 per cent completed ‘secondary and above’ level of education.
  • Out of 1000 disabled persons, only 15 to 35 completed any vocational course and of them, 74 to 80 per cent in non-engineering stream.
  • The current enrolment ratio per 1000 disabled persons of age 5-18 years in the ordinary school was higher in the rural than in the urban – 475 and 444, respectively for the two sectors.
  • About 11 per cent of disabled persons of age 5 – 18 years were enrolled in the special schools in the urban as compared to even lessthan 1 per cent in the rural.
  • About 26 per cent of the disabled persons were employed. The proportion of employed among the mentally retarded was the lowest at 6 per cent.
  • About 37 per cent of the disabled (age 5 +) as a whole were working before the onset of disability.
  • The survey reveals that about 3 per cent of the disabled were living alone and 5 per cent lived with their spouse only.

Source:  Highlights from Report No. 485 (58/26/1)
Disabled Persons in India
NSS 58 th round
((July – December 2002)

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