Purpose: This survey aimed to assess the baseline level of access to social institutions, utilisation of civil facilities and participation in empowerment schemes by people with disabilities in Amravati district of Maharashtra State, India.
Method: Sixty villages from two blocks in Amravati district were randomly selected for the survey. From these villages, 522 households were sampled and 3056 individuals were surveyed. Interviews were conducted with 590 individuals with disability from among the surveyed population. The structured interview schedule consisted of demographic data, access to social organisations, utilisation of civil services, and participation in empowerment schemes.
Results: Locomotor disability was the most prevalent (44.6%) type of disability in the study area. Disabilities were more often present among male adolescents and young adults than among the older population and females. Over 50% of the study participants had no occupation (including children and students) and had not been to school. Only 48% had achieved secondary education and more. The proportion of disability among people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was considerably higher than among the general population. Access to social institutions was less than 50% for most of the items, and was even lower among females. Except for the ration card and Aadhar card, civil services were generally under-utilised by people with disability. Only 3.2% of the participants were members of self-help groups, and not a single person was a member of the Disabled People’s Organisation.
Conclusions: In the study area access to social institutions, utilisation of civil services and participation in empowerment schemes was very low.
Limitations: Data, including general socio-demographic, access and utility data, was not collected for the general population but was limited to people with disabilities. This restricted the scope for comparison between people with and without disabilities.
Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, Vol 30, No 1 (2019)