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Shocking misreporting by census
Especially for disabled, India’s census comes out incredibly faulty

Most countries are supporters and signatories of United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which came into effect from July 3, 2008, with 146 participants and 88 ratifications. However, the origin of this convention dates way back in 1987, when Italy and Sweden proposed a need for a body that can end discrimination against disabled people. Following this, it was the US that led the way in providing civil rights to the disabled through the ‘Americans with Disabilities Act’ signed on July 26, 1990, at the behest of President George H. W. Bush. The fortnight gone by has been a special one for Americans as they are celebrating the 20th anniversary of this path breaking act. And why is that important for them?

As per a 2007 report by National Council for Disability, a huge 18.1% of the American population reported some level of disability, and 11.5% reported a severe disability. Even in the UK, according to the Family Resource Survey, 18% of the population is disabled. Australia has similar figures, with 15% disabled. According to Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, Canada had 14.3% disabled. And these are developed nations, where general disability should be expectably less than underdeveloped or developing nations. Looking at India’s disability figures, all logic can be put to rest. According to the last available survey by NSSO (the official census survey organisation), India has only 2.13% of the population (2.6 crores) reported to be disabled. The Office of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities estimates that 5% of population is disabled. These figures are unbelievable, to say the least. Even if one were to benchmark India against Canada, considering an average percentage of 14% disabled, the nation would have around 16.8 crores disabled! The first step to caring for the disabled is to churn out true figures. And India is a far cry from that...

By:- Sayan Ghosh

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