Today's Editorial

Today's Editorial - 30 December 2023

A call for disability inclusion that must be heeded

News Excerpt: 

There needs to be a focus on solutions that enhance the activities of daily life and the quality of life for the disabled. 

More about news: 

  • With around 1.3 billion people globally living with disabilities, the majority residing in developing countries and rural areas, it underscores the urgent need for inclusive policies and actions that address the disparities they face, such as poverty, limited access to education, and discrimination. 
  • December 3 marks the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, it's critical to address challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and seek innovative solutions for improving their daily lives.


  • Global Burden of Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Neuropsychiatric disorders encompass various conditions affecting millions across lifespans. Statistics reveal staggering numbers: 317 million affected in childhood, 167 million adolescents and adults, and 276 million impacted by neurologically affecting conditions.
  • Neglected Rehabilitation Needs: The World Health Organization’s Global Burden of Disease study indicates that 2.41 billion individuals require rehabilitation, yet this remains under-prioritized. Rehabilitation often sees limited resources, being viewed as a disability-specific service rather than a holistic approach to address a wide range of conditions. Advancements in neurorehabilitation techniques play a crucial role in aiding recovery and maximizing functionality post-traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, stroke, and other neurological conditions. 
  • Shifting the Rehabilitation Paradigm: There's an urgent need to broaden rehabilitation services beyond specialist-led, narrow concepts to encompass diverse neurological and mental health conditions. Community-based, multidisciplinary, and holistic approaches are essential to ensure comprehensive care for individuals with disabilities.
  • Empowerment through Professional Development: Professional growth and training are crucial in enhancing rehabilitation services. Empowering therapists, caregivers, and professionals involved in rehabilitation is vital to meet the diverse needs of patients effectively.
  • Advancements in Treatments: Scientific innovations offer promising avenues for treatment. Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques like rTMS and TES show efficacy in treating conditions ranging from depression and OCD to Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.
  • Evolving Treatments in the Post-COVID Era: Treatments like transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (tA-VNS) have emerged to address long-term COVID symptoms and other conditions, showcasing the evolving nature of medical interventions.
  • Early Detection and Intervention: Efforts are underway to enhance early detection methods and implement timely interventions, particularly in developmental conditions like autism and ADHD, aiming to provide better support and outcomes from an early age.
  • Private Sector's Role: Engaging the private sector, employer federations, and trade unions plays a crucial role in promoting the employment and retention of individuals with disabilities, complementing legal frameworks for inclusivity.
  • The Imperative of Collaboration and Commitment: There is the growing need for a fundamental shift in global commitment, solidarity, financing, and action to prioritize the voices and needs of persons with disabilities at the center of the global development agenda. Disability inclusion requires collaboration across sectors. The United Nations’ emphasis on disability inclusion as crucial to sustainable development highlights the need for collective efforts from governments, private and public sectors, and stakeholders.
  • Challenges in Data Collection and Utilization: Recent shelving of socio-economic data related to PwDs during UDID registrations raises concerns. Quality issues and low response rates led to the decision not to release crucial information, highlighting challenges in collecting comprehensive data for policy-making.


Disability inclusion is not just a moral imperative but a pathway toward a more equitable world. Broadening rehabilitation, leveraging scientific advancements, and fostering collaboration are vital steps in creating a society that leaves no one behind.


Mains PYQs

Q. Does the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 ensure effective mechanism for empowerment and inclusion of the intended beneficiaries in the society? Discuss.       (UPSC 2017)

Q. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 remains only a legal document without intense sensitisation of government functionaries and citizens regarding disability. Comment.  (UPSC 2022)

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