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Disability Related Question in Indian Census V.M. Tamhane Assistant Director Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India

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Presentation on theme: "Disability Related Question in Indian Census V.M. Tamhane Assistant Director Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India"— Presentation transcript:

1 Disability Related Question in Indian Census V.M. Tamhane Assistant Director Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India February 2002

2 INDIA : Administrative Divisions, 2001

3 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Census in India is a Union subject The first systematic Census was taken in 1872 The Census of India 2001 was 14 Census in this continuous series This first Census of the century can also be aptly termed as Millennium Census Census Act, 1948 forms the legal basis for the conduct of Censuses in India A Technical Advisory Committee is constituted to advise on technical issues

4 India is spread over 28 States and 7 Union territories Census of India is worlds largest administrative exercise Over 2 million Enumerators and Supervisors were engaged to count over one billion people. Census Schedules were printed in 16 languages Census conducted in two phases a) Houselisting Operations b) Population Enumeration Data Users Conferences are held to Finalise the draft questionnaires Historical Background Contd.

5 CENSUS OF INDIA 2001 At the Population Enumeration the Household Schedule contained 24 questions A question on Disability was included as: Q. 15 : – If the person is physically/mentally disabled, give appropriate code number from the list below – In Seeing …………. 1 »In Speech ………… 2 »In Hearing ………… 3 »In Movement …….. 4 »Mental ……………. 5

6 BRIEF BACKGROUND Initially No - Ultimately Yes Initially the technical Advisory Committee observed that the Census is not the appropriate medium to canvass the question on disability This was likely to serious effect the quality of canvassing the core question The definitions of disabilities are too complex to be understood by the respondents and the enumerators Communication skills needed to probe such a question The thinking not to canvass this question in Census was based on past experiences

7 THE PAST EXPERIENCES The data collected through Censuses of 1972 to 1931were not considered to reliable Census Year Proportion 18810.29 18910.30 19010.28 19110.33 19210.34 19310.39 Proportion of Disabled Population On the question of infirmities the 1931 Census Commissioner remarked The returns on infirmities at the Indian Census has probably never been satisfactory THUS, QUESTION ON DISABILITY DISCONTINUED DURING THE CENSUSES 1941 - 1971

8 THE QUESTION ON DISABILITY RE-INTRODUCED AT THE 1981 CENSUS 1981 was proclaimed as International Year for the Disabled A renewed effort was made to collect data on disability through a simple question during the Houselisting Operations The data were collected on three categories of disabilities: Totally Blind Totally Dumb Totally Crippled

9 1981 Contd. 1981 CENSUS RESULTS - INDIA Total Population- 655 million Disabled - 1.1 million Percentage - 0. 2 Totally Blind - 0.48 million Totally Crippled- 0.36 million Totally Dumb- 0.28 million Distribution of Disabled by Type of Disability

10 OBSERVATIONS ON 1981CENSUS RESULTS The Census inquiry was limited to total disability The Census results were found to be unsatisfactory This again put question mark whether Census should continue to collect data on disability ? The 1981 Census again supported the view that Census Operations do not lend themselves to the identification of people with disability - Census Commissioner, 1981 The question on disability, thus, was again dropped at the 1991 Census

11 STATISTICAL ESTIMATES OF DISABILITIES The WHO estimated 10% of the Worlds total population suffers from disabilities This in Indian context would mean that nearly 100 million persons are disabled The National Sample Survey Organisation ( Report 393) indicated 1.9 % disabled population in India during 1991 This shows that Census results are far from satisfactory

12 THE IMPEDIMENTS Definitional aspect Training aspect- Mindset of Public in traditional society- certain types of disabilities treated as stigma General tendency to withhold information Perception and response of the respondent final

13 DISABILITY AT THE 2001 CENSUS - WHY NO Data Users Conference disapproved the inclusion of a question on disability The Technical Advisory Committee also expressed apprehension about inclusion the disability related question in Census because: 1. Comparability of Census data with other surveys including NSSO will create confusion 2. Sensitivity is major constraint 3. Census Enumerators are technically qualified to measure the extent/degree of disability 4. This question may prove to be counter productive

14 WHY NO Contd. 5. Difficulty in evolving simple and comprehensible definition of disability 6. Difficulty in making respondent fully conversant about the nuances of the concept of disability 7. Attitude of the public to withhold such information as certain types of disabilities carry social stigma 8. Difficulty in distinguishing total disability with partial disability The question on disability was also not pre tested

15 INCLUSION OF DISABILITY RELATED QUESTION IN 2001 CENSUS- WHY YES Request from the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in the light of enactment of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 Demand made by the NGOs and Disability Groups Agitational approach adopted by the Disability Groups Demand raised through Parliament Questions Review and final decision taken by the Government of India Simple definitions of disabilities provided by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

16 THE QUESTION Q. 15 : – If the person is physically/mentally disabled, give appropriate code number from the list below – In Seeing …………. 1 »In Speech ………… 2 »In Hearing ………… 3 »In Movement …….. 4 »Mental ……………. 5

17 DEFINITIONS OF SOME DISABILITIES Census 2001 Disability in Seeing : A person who can not see at all ( has no perception of light ) or has blurred vision even with the help of spectacles will be treated as visually disabled Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 a) Low Vision: person with impairment of visual functioning even after treatment or standard refracting correction but who uses or is potentially capable of using vision for the planning or execution of a task with appropriate assertive device. b) Blindness: 1. total absence of light 2. Visual acquity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 snellen

18 Census 2001 Disability in Hearing A person who can not hear at all (deaf) or can hear only loud sounds will be considered as having hearing disability Persons with Disability Act, 1995 Hearing Impairment Hearing Impairment means loss of sixty decibels or more in the better ear in the conversational range of frequencies.

19 MEASURES TAKEN FOR COLLECTION OF DATA ON DISABILITY Instructions to Enumerators Training Publicity Informants were asked Verify the entries and put signatures on Household Schedule

20 1. INSTRUCTIONS This question will be asked of all persons in the households Please note that this is a sensitive question You have to probe delicately so as not to offend anyone in the household You may begin by explaining the actual purpose of the question

21 Emphasize that the information on the number and type of disability would help the government in planning for the welfare of the disabled You may then find out if any member of the household is suffering from any physical or mental disability The disability of a person will be decided with reference to the date of enumeration

22 2. TRAINING Training of Enumerators - a key element for collection of quality data on Disability Methodology explained Concepts made clear Training imparted also in local languages Audio- visual modules extensively used Persons with disabilities invited to speak during training classes. Training imparted in three rounds through: a) Power Point Presentation b) Slide Show and c) Radio Broadcast

23 3. PUBLICITY Extensive publicity considered pre requisite for collection of Data on Disability A special emphasis laid to sensitize people about disability related question Modes of Publicity Telecasting messages on television Broadcasting messages on All India Radio Advertisements in newspapers Showing Census messages through cable net-work Displaying posters, pamphlets, banners and hoardings

24 Modes Contd. Providing information on disability on Census web-site Organized rallies and street shows for awareness Setting up of Census stalls in exhibitions Other measures taken by respective Census Directorates

25 PUBLICITY- BY OTHER AGENCIES The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Disability Rights Groups and other NGOs initiated their own publicity campaign This started much before Census Organization's publicity campaign Measures Taken: Advertisements on Television Organizing workshops Posters, Pamphlets, Banners and Hoardings Sensitizing public by organizing Door to door awareness campaign

26 MEDIA COVERAGE - IMPORTANT CAPTIONS Census covering five types of disability -Newsline 12. 2. 2001 Preparation starts for census; disability will also be recorded Prajatantra 12. 9. 2000 Stand up and be counted -Times of India 11.11.2000

27 Hurdles for covering disabled in census almost cleared - New Indian Express, 21. 4. 2000 Census of India: disabled persons should be included -Ekmat, 15.2.2000 Disability and Census 2001 awareness - Saanchar, 15. 12. 2000 Advice to disabled persons on census - The Times of India 14. 2. 2001

28 THE CENSUS RESULTS Currently the Census Schedules are being processed electronically Results expected shortly Elaborate tabulation plan proposed

29 TABULATIONS Following tables on disability are proposed to be generated at the 2001 Census: Type of disability by age-group and sex Type of disability by marital status, age-group and sex Population attending educational institutions in the age-group by type of disability and sex Type of disability by main workers, marginal workers, non-workers by age and sex Type of disability of non-workers by sex Type of disability by occupational classification and sex

30 Type of disability by industrial classification and sex Type of disability by distance to place of work for other workers by sex Distance to place of work classified by mode of travel for other disabled workers by sex Type of disability by educational level and sex Number of disabled by type of households and sex


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