United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Publications

Livelihood Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs)

People living with disabilities encounter many disadvantages in society and are often subject to stigma and discrimination. Marginalized and disproportionately poorer, people living with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to crisis. Further, they remain largely excluded from political and civil processes and voiceless on crucial issues that affect them and their society.

The Government of India’s 11th Five Year Plan and the Approach Paper to the 12th Five-Year Plan envisaged an inclusive approach towards persons with disability and promised special attention to differently-abled people, among other vulnerable groups. Nevertheless, in India, skills and potential of most people living with disability remain untapped, under-utilized or under developed. People living with disabilities are amongst the most impoverished communities in the country.

There is a growing recognition and acknowledgement of the rights of the people with disabilities. We commend the Planning Commission for engaging with persons with disabilities, in particular to inform the design of the forthcoming 12th Five Year Plan. India also has several legislative provisions that provide for the protection of rights and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Development can be inclusive - and reduce poverty - only if all groups of people contribute to creating opportunities, share the benefits of development processes and participate effectively in decision-making at all levels of governance. There is significant scope to build an enabling environment that can ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in national development processes.

This publication commissioned by the Government of India and the United Nations Development Programme is part of a larger collaboration that focuses on developing state level strategies in support of livelihood promotion. By examining the complex issues around promoting livelihood opportunities for people with disabilities and sharing lessons from national and international experiences, we hope that this Report will be useful in increasing awareness of and understanding of disability. We hope it will serve as a catalyst for further research in the area, and most importantly, involve persons with disabilities in the design and implementation of policies and programmes.

Click here for details