Thaawarchand Gehlot said that employment is the key to empowerment. The Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 which came into force last year mandates the Government to frame schemes to promote Skill Development of Persons with Disabilities so as to enhance their scope of employability. DEPwD in collaboration with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched the National Action Plan for Skill Development of Persons with Disabilities in March, 2015. DEPwD implements an umbrella scheme namely Scheme for Implementation of Right of Persons with Disabilities Act which has a component for Skill Development of PwDs. Under NAP, 75640 PwDs have been trained since 2016-17 and this year the target is to impart skill training to 90,000 PwDs. The Skill Development programme for PwDs is implemented through the training Partners empanelled with this department and also through its National Institutes, their Composite Regional Centres and also through National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation.
Gehlot said that Persons with Disabilities are one of the most marginalized segments in the society. Most of them do not have access to education, training and thus remains deprived of gainful employment. Every category of Disability has unique ability. Similarly, different regions/areas in the country have different market demand. Each industry/corporate has its own requirement, for example, the requirement of apparel industry and retail sector would be entirely different. Bringing a synergy among all these 3 components i.e. ability of a particular category of PwD, Local market demand and industry requirement is also a challenge while devising course curriculum for PwDs.
The Workshop dwelt upon all the issues involved in the skill development for Persons with disabilities and come out with workable solution in identifying core areas for skill development in the context of PwDs, mechanism for appropriate mapping of categories of Disabilities viz. a viz. industrial requirement . Apart from the Inaugural Session, the Workshop had three technical sessions and an Interactive session.
According to census 2011, there are 26.8 million Persons with Disabilities in India,which constitutes 2.21% of our population. These include Persons with Hearing Disability, Locomotor Disability, Visual Disability, Speech Disability, Intellectual Disability, Mental Illness, Multiple Disabilities and other unspecified categories of Disabilities.