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Volume 8 Issue 2 - January 15, 2011

North Zone Consultation on ‘Census 2011 & Disability’

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: To ensure that disabled persons are accurately enumerated in the Census of 2011 and to take its vision of a cross disability movement forward, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) along with Action for Ability Development and Inclusion (A.A.D.I.) organized a day-long consultation on ‘Census 2011 & Disability – Finding the Missing Millions’ in New Delhi on January 15.

The Census of 2011 will draw a bigger picture for the disability sector in India. There are 27 lakh enumerators and supervisors, 54,000 master trainers, 725 master trainer facilitators and 90 national trainers all over the country, for the Census exercise. The North Zone consultation dwelled on: Census questionnaire, the question on disability, awareness within the disability sector and amongst disabled people and families, training and sensitization of enumerators, advocacy with the Central and State Governments, Media, P.S.U.s and all others.

The ‘Question on Disability’ has been moved to number 9 from number 15 (Census 2001), ahead of the question on mother tongue. Javed Abidi, Honorary Director of N.C.P.E.D.P. and Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.) Convenor, said, “Census of 2011 is going to be a turning point for the disability sector in India. It is the first time ever since Independence that all types of disabilities will be covered comprehensively.”

However, unlike the Census of 2001, when only five disabilities were enumerated, Census 2011 will distinguish between mental retardation and mental illness. It will record separate statistics on these two most neglected disabilities. Also, the ‘Question on Disability’ will have the option of ‘any other disability’ and ‘multiple disabilities’ for the first time. This is essential because last time, in Census 2001, several disabilities were left out since there was no slot for them in the manner the disability question was framed and asked by enumerators.

Members of various N.G.O.s and participants from North Zone made an appeal that disabled people and their families should come forward and get enumerated. They agreed to create teams and help in sensitizing the local people as to why it is so important for disabled people to get themselves counted. They also suggested that the local media is an accessible medium and can be roped in to spread awareness regarding ‘Question on Disability’.

There were over 150 participants from different organizations, D.P.O.s, federations from across North India at the consultation. The meeting had representatives from Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

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