1.2 million people with disabilities live alone in India
Asia-Pacific, August 29 2014
NEW DELHI: At least 1.2 million people with disabilities in India are living in households consisting only of people with disability. While the total people with disabilities increased by just over 22 per cent over a decade, from almost 22 million in the Census 2001 to 26.8 million in 2011, the number of people with disabilities living on their own has nearly doubled, jumping by 84 per cent in the same period.
This is revealed in the latest figures on people with disabilities and household size released by the census. About 6.3 lakh people with disabilities lived alone in single member households and 2.7 lakh two-member households had two disabled people each (about 5.5 lakh in all) staying on their own in households without any non-disabled person.
While single member households consisting of a lone person with disability increased by 48 per cent from 4.2 lakh in 2001 to 6.3 lakh in 2011, the number of two-member households in which both were disabled increased almost one and a half times from 1.1 lakh to 2.7 lakh in the same period.
Among the larger states, Jammu & Kashmir has the highest proportion of households with at least one person with disability, over 12 per cent, followed by Odisha with 10 per cent of such households.
Interestingly, in Delhi and Tamil Nadu, which have strong disability rights movements compared to other states, only 5 per cent of households were identified as having one or more people with disabilities. These movements have consistently maintained that official data is underestimating the actual number of people with disabilities in India.
In the 2011 census, 92 per cent of the nearly 25 crore households in the country had no people with disabilities. Over two crore households had one or more people with disabilities. Almost 71 per cent of these households (1.46 crore) were in rural areas while the remaining 60.5 lakh-plus households were in urban areas.
There was a fall in the proportion of households with one or more people with disabilities from about 10 per cent in 2001 to just 8 per cent in 2011, though the absolute number of such households has gone up by over 20 lakh or 2 million.
Source: Times of India