The need to be have inclusive opportunities and employment in the rural areas as a majority of persons with disabilities live here
Approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide, predominantly in developing countries, live with disabilities, facing higher instances of poverty, lack of education, and social discrimination.
Disability is at the intersection of social, economic, and gender vulnerabilities, necessitating a comprehensive approach to address equity issues.
Current systems are designed without considering persons with disabilities, resulting in exclusion, poverty, limited education, and economic discrimination for 80% of them living in developing countries.
The approach to disability inclusion must be "by" persons with disabilities, not just "for" them. Inclusion should involve them actively in the process.
Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the economy can boost global GDP by 3% to 7%, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Stereotypes and limited job opportunities perpetuate employment challenges for persons with disabilities, contradicting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Persons with disabilities in rural India face additional challenges, including limited access to education and employment, viewed more as objects of charity than as active participants with agency.
India has various schemes for persons with disabilities, including the UDID card. However, awareness and capacity-building at the grassroots level are crucial, especially in rural areas.
The private sector is key to promoting employment for persons with disabilities. Engaging employers' federations and trade unions is essential for creating a supportive work environment.
The SPARK project in collaboration with ILO and IFAD aims to bring disability inclusion to rural areas by training persons with disabilities as facilitators. It focuses on attitudinal shifts and mainstreaming women with disabilities into self-help groups for social and economic development. Overall, a bottom-up approach is crucial for inclusive development and the achievement of social justice.