Disability survey for researchers

Published at August 19, 2018 01:22 AM 0Comment(s)2757views

As per census 2011, Jammu Kashmir has around 361000 population of persons with disabilities 

Disability survey for researchers

Altaf Hussain Haji

Disability is an impairment that may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or some combination of these. It substantially affects a person's life activities and may be present from birth or occur during a person's lifetime.

Disabilities are an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.

Disability is thus not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.

Disability is a contested concept, with different meanings in different communities. It may be used to refer to physical or mental attributes that some institutions, particularly medicine, view as needing to be fixed. It may refer to limitations imposed on people by the constraints of an ablest Society. Or the term may serve to refer to the identity of disabled people. 

The discussion over disability's definition arose out of disability activism in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1970s, which challenged how the medical concept of disability dominated perception and discourse about disabilities.

As per census 2011, Jammu Kashmir State has around 361000 population of persons with disabilities but various researches depict that our state has around 6 lakhs population of persons with disabilities with 120000 orthopedic disable persons and around 90000 persons facing mild to severe types of mental illness disabilities.

Orthopaedic disabilities are on lager increase due to the armed conflict and allied political disturbances. As the women and children are highly vulnerable to mental illnesses, thus thousands of episodes that claimed death of husband, father, brother or son in a family, rendered one or other family member mentally ill.

Also blindness is at a high, as per census 2011 around 68000 persons with blindness are there in the state. 92777 persons in JK have speech and hearing disabilities. Out of total 361253 disable population there are 233973 persons with different types of disabilities belonging to Kashmir province and 127180 persons with different disabilities in Jammu province.

In Kashmir province, the males have 55.51 percent of disability and females have 44.49percent of disability. In Jammu Province the male ratio is 58.91percent and female ratio is 41.09percent.  As per some report says that there is very high rate of disability in State Jammu Kashmir.

The current figures of disability of Jammu and Kashmir is not available any other sources. Recently government of India, National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Field Operations Division, Government of India under the Ministry of Statistics and programme implementation is going to conduct Survey of Persons with Disabilities in 76th round of NSS  from July 2018 to December 2018  througout country including State Jammu Kashmir.

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) under Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, Government of India has been in service of the nation since 1950.

It has been instrumental in developing a strong database on various socio-economic parameters through its countrywide sample surveys, which have helped the central as well as state governments in development planning and policy formulation.

Various agencies in India and abroad are utilizing the NSS data for estimation of poverty, construction of price indices and assessing impact of various programmes on pattern and level of household consumption expenditure, employment-unemployment situation, condition of farmers, migration, utilization of health and education services, etc.

The main objective of the “Survey of Persons with Disabilities” conducted by NSSO is to estimate indicators of incidence and prevalence of disability, cause of disability, age at onset of disability, facilities available to the persons with disability, difficulties faced by persons with disability in accessing public building/public transport, arrangement of regular care giver, out of pocket expense relating to disability, etc.

As you know that data is for planning and policy purpose  and the main users of the data of NSS 76th round survey on ‘Drinking water’ Sanitation, hygiene and housing condition will be the ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Housing and urban Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Office of the Registrar general of India. The results of the survey on ‘drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and Housing condition’ of NSS 76th round will also meet the data requirement of NITI Aayog, Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Water Aid India, UNICEF, WHO,etc.

Apart from these users, the results of the survey will be useful for other planners/policy makers and researchers.

The NSSO will collect data for persons with disabilities with detailed information about following matters:

  • Locomotor Disability canwhich happen due to disease injury or deformities in the joints, bones or muscles or injury disease to the nerves, spinal cord or brain or deformities at birth. Locomotor disability is also observed in polio, leprosy, stroke, amputation, congenital deformities, cerebral patsy and injury to brain and spinal cord
  • Paralysis is the loss of power in any part of the body which can be happen due to stroke, injury to the brain, spinal cord or ewes
  • Paraplegia Loss of movement and/or sensation in both the logs and partial or complete loss of ladder (urine) and bowel (stool) control
  • Quadriplegia Loss of movement and/or sensations of all the four limbs and trunk, along with loss of urine and stool control. Quadriplegia is caused by injury or disease to spinal cord at neck-level
  • Amputation is loss of a part or whole of a limb. This can be present since birth or removed surgically due to a disease or injury or accidents
  • Hearing disabilities is inability of an individual to hear speech and environmental sounds. This may be due to improper development, damage or disease to any part of the hearing mechanism. Hearing is a prerequisite for the development of normal speech. Speech and language disabilities a person has speech disability if his/her speech is not understood by the listeners. Speech can be unintelligible and may not be understood by the listener due to severe articulation disorder, severe voice disorder, severe stuttering, Delay in development of speech and language and language disorders
  • Voice Disorders: Our voice is produced by e vocal cord in the larynx (voice box). Abuse, misuse structural abnormalities such as growth on the vocal cords and paralysis may result in abnormal voice; it may be, hoarse or harsh so as to make speech incomprehensible. Sometimes the larynx has to be removed by operation because of cancer of the voice box. Such a person will have at opening in the neck which connects to his windpipe. He will be unable to produce voice. With speech, therapy, he /she may learn to speak. Listener may still not be able to understand what is spoken
  • Articulation disorders: Normally children are able to produce all speech sounds clearly by six years of age. If the individual produces one sound for another sound in a given word, he is said to have an articulation disorder. For example “Tata” for “kaka”, Lama for “Rama”.Generally such persons are not easily understood. Some of the serious causes of mis-articulation are cleft of lip and palate. A person with cleft willshow a tear on the upper lip
  • Delayed speech and language development (Specialty for 0-4 years): Our ability to speak helps us to know more about the world we live in. Delay in speech and language development is known to have serious consequences on the child's overall development including scholastic, intellectual and social development. Early identification of these individuals is essential for effective rehabilitation
  • Visual disability is total absence of vision or presence of partial vision. A visually disabled person may not be able to perceive any light with both eyes. Those who have light perception but cannot correctly count fingers of a hand (with' or without use of spectacles/ contact lens) from a distance of 3 meters in broad day light with both eyes open am also visually disabled

The above mentioned subject matters of collecting information on survey of persons with disabilities shows itself how important the survey is for experts, researchers and policy formulation of government at state and centre level.

The government of India, state governments and other agencies use the data for proper planning and policy formulation. Incorrect information may lead to faulty planning. The success of these surveys, thus, critically depends on the quality of the response from public.

The officers of NSSO may be approaching you for collection of necessary data. Without your co-operation and necessary support, it will not be possible to get required data.

NSSO, therefore, appeals to you to extend your co-operation to its officers and spare your valuable time to provide them correct and complete information.


Author is Director, National Sample Survey Office, (Field Operations Division), Regional office, Srinagar






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