Several ministries/departments of the Government of India provide various concessions and facilities that include :
1. Concession on Railways
Railways allow disabled persons to travel at concession fares up to 75% in the first and second classes. Escorts accompanying blind, orthopedically and mentally handicapped persons are also eligible to 75% concession in the basic fare.
2. Air Travel Concessions
Indian Airlines allow 50% concession fares to blind persons on single journeys.
Payment of postage, both inland and foreign, for transmission by post of ‘Blind Literature’ packets is exempted if sent by surface route.
Braille paper has been exempted from excise and customs duty provided the paper is supplied direct to a school for the blind or to a Braille press against an indent placed by the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehradun. All audio cassettes recorded with material from books, newspapers or magazines for the blind are exempt from custom duty. Several other items have also been exempted from customs duty if imported for the use of a disabled person.
5. Conveyance Allowance
All Central government employees who are blind or orthopaedically handicapped are granted conveyance at 5 per cent of basic pay subject to a maximum of Rs. 100 per month.
6. Educational Allowance
Reimbursement of tuition fee of physically and mentally handicapped children of the Central government employees has been enhanced to Rs. 50/-.
7.Income Tax Concession
The amount of deduction from total income of a person with blindness, mental retardation or permanent physical disability has been increased to Rs. 40,000/-.
8. Award of Dealership by Oil Companies
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has reserved 7.5 per cent of all types of dealership agencies of the public sector companies, for the orthopaedically handicapped and blind persons. Similarly, the Ministry has also reserved 7.5 per cent of such dealership/agencies for defence personnel, severely disabled either in war or while on duty in peacetime.
Candidates with Physical handicaps, appointed on a regional basis, are to be given as far as possible, appointments as close to their native place as possible.
10. Economic Assistance by Public Sector Banks
All orphanages, homes for women and persons with physical handicaps as well as institutions working for the welfare of the handicapped, are given loans and advances at very low rates of interest (4% under DRI) and a subsidy of 50% up to a maximum of Rs. 5,000/- is also admissible. State Governments/Union Territories also give concessions/facilities such as reservation in jobs, scholarships, old age pension, free travel in buses, etc.
ACTS IN DISABILITY
1. Exemptions on Income Tax Act
The Act is guided by the philosophy of empowering persons with disabilities and their associates. The endeavour of the Act has been to introduce an instrument for promoting equality and participation of persons with disability on the one hand, and eliminating discriminations of all kinds, on the other
2. National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Mental Retardation and Cerebral Palsy Act, 1999
The Government have also introduced a National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Mental Retardation and Cerebral Palsy Bill, 1995. The trust aims to provide total care to persons with mental retardation and cerebral palsy and also manage the properties bequeathed to the Trust.
3. The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995
4. The Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992
1. The Act was created to provide for the constitution of the Rehabilitation Council of India for regulating training of the Rehabilitation Professional and maintaining of a Central Rehabilitation Register and for matters related to these issues.
The professionals who come under the purview of the Act are:
o Audiologists and Speech therapists
o Clinical Psychologists
o Hearing aid and Ear mould technicians
o Rehabilitation engineers and technicians
o Special educators for teaching and training the handicapped
o Vocational counselors, Employment officers, and Placement officers
o Multi-purpose rehabilitation therapists and technicians
o Speech pathologists
o Rehabilitation psychologists
o Rehabilitation social workers
o Rehabilitation practitioners in mental retardation
o Orientation and mobility specialists
o Community based rehabilitation professionals
o Rehabilitation counselors/administrators
o Prosthetists and Orthotists
o Rehabilitation workshop managers
5. The Mental Health Act, 1987
An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the treatment and care of mentally ill persons, to make better provision with respect to their property and affairs and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
6. The All India Service (Special Disability Leave) Regulations, 1957.
7. Employees State Insurance Act, 1948
This provides for facilities for persons employed in Government agencies and public sector organizations to avail of various benefits