Nearly 50% of the people with various forms of disabilities are literate in the country and are attending educational institutions, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
"As per the Census 2001, there were a total of 21.9 million persons with disabilities in the country, out of which 10.8 million - nearly 50% - were reported to be literate," minister of State for SJ&E D Napoleon said in a written reply to the House.
6.5 million persons with disabilities were in the age group of 5-19 years, with nearly 50 per cent of them at 3.3 million persons attending educational institutions, he added.
The Minister further informed the House that for the year 2011-12, a sum of Rs 410.09 lakh was sanctioned to the District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs).
"The amount sanctioned to the DDRCs during the financial year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 is Rs 201.08 lakh, Rs 590.77 lakh and Rs 410.09 lakh, respectively," he said.
DDRCs are run by the government to provide comprehensive services to persons with disabilities at the grass root level and for creation of infrastructure and capacity building at the district level for awareness generation.
In reply to a question on replacing the existing law for disabled persons, Napoleon said, "A committee was set up in 2010 consisting of experts in the disability sector... The committee submitted its report including draft legislation called the Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2011 which is under consideration."