Funds 2021 for disability rights NGOs: In a different way-abled, individuals with disabilities uncared for ‘once more’

The Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat program, the culmination of this budget, focuses on strengthening primary and secondary health centers, but does not mention people with disabilities.

Photo credit: Zhuo Cheng You / Unsplash

Some NGOs with disability rights have expressed disappointment that people with disabilities were allegedly “neglected” in the 2021-22 budget presented on Monday. Aside from exempting seniors over the age of 75 from filing ITRs and making dividend payments easier, the budget makes no specific mention of inclusion and systems for people with disabilities. Arman Ali, the executive director of the National Center for the Advancement of Employment of People with Disabilities (NCPEDP), said the budget document speaks of being dependent on six pillars, one of which is inclusive development for emerging India, people with disabilities however, it has been “neglected” once again.

“Year after year the disability sector sends its inquiries to the Government of India, but this time these inquiries were not even mentioned. This budget was of paramount importance due to the ongoing pandemic as people lost their jobs and children dropped out of the shortage of facilities, “he said.

Ali said the Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat program, which is the culmination of this budget, focuses on strengthening primary and secondary health centers but has no word on people with disabilities.

“However, we hope that all disabled people will be included in the announced health programs. The saddest part is that the budget document still refers to the 1995 Law on People with Disabilities. We are in the 5th year of the 2016 RPWD Law entered and not yet. We have to keep reminding the government of the latest disability laws, “he said.

The allocation for the Department for the Empowerment of People with Disabilities (DePwD) was reduced from 1,325.39 crore to 1,171.76 crore, with an approximate cut of Rs. 150 crores, Ali said.

“As a sector, we are all disappointed and concerned about the future of people with disabilities in our country,” he added.

The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled said in a statement that it had made its “strong protest” against the substantial cut in budget support for the Ministry for the Empowerment of People with Disabilities.

This substantial reduction of nearly 12 percent will adversely affect various programs and programs run by the department.

Meanwhile, the DaDi DaDa Foundation (DDF) civil society group welcomed the government’s announcement to exempt elders from filing their income tax returns (ITRs).

DDF director Muni Shankar Pandey said the exemption of the elderly by the age of 75 will help large numbers of elderly people get rid of income tax filing problems at a crucial stage in their lives.

In the budget, the government also proposed a budget expenditure of 2.23.846 billion rupees for health and wellbeing in the years 2021-2022, an increase of 137 percent over the previous budget, with 35,000 billion rupees planned COVID-19 Vaccine in the coming fiscal year.

Pandey said, “This will address the health concerns of seniors. The government has consistently looked to the makers and seniors of the country.”

The Dadi Dada Foundation is an organization that works for the well-being of the elderly in India.

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