Review of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD)

Press Information Bureau *

The vision of the D/o Social Justice & Empowerment is to build an inclusive society wherein members of the target groups can lead productive, safe and dignified lives with adequate support for their growth and development. It aims to support and empower its target groups through programmes of educational, economic and social development and rehabilitation wherever necessary.

The mandate of the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment is empowerment of the socially, educationally and economically marginalised sections of the society including
(i) Scheduled Castes
(ii) other Backward Class
(iii) Senior Citizens
(iv) Victims of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
(v) Transgender Persons
(vi) Beggars
(vii) Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNTs)
(viii) Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) and
(xi) Economically Weaker Section (EWS)


The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 was passed by the Parliament and received the assent of President of India on 5th December, 2019. It was passed by the RajyaSabha on 26th November, 2019 and already passed by the 17thLok Sabha on 5th August, 2019. The Act will make all the stakeholders responsive and accountable for upholding the principles underlying the Act.

It will bring greater accountability on the part of the Central Government and State Governments/Union Territories Administrations for issues concerning Transgender persons.

The Act will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society. It will lead to greater inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society.


The President of India Shri Ram NathKovind presented the “VayoshreshthaSamman” to the eminent senior citizens and institutions in recognition of their services towards the cause of the elderly persons, to mark the “International Day of Older Persons”, at a function in New Delhi on October 03, 2019.

The experience of Senior Citizens are the Plethora of wisdom. The coveted VayoshreshthaSamman was instituted in the year 2005 and was upgraded to the status of National Awards in the year 2013. The National Awards were presented in 13 different categories. Since 2014-15, the Ministry has disbursed Rs. 190.62crores to 1595 NGOs towards the maintenance of old age homes across the country.


The Department of Social Justice & Empowerment has assigned the National Survey on Extent and Pattern of substance (Drugs) Abuse in India to National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), AIIMS, New Delhi, which is completed.

National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-25 has also been prepared and implemented, which aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multipronged strategy involving education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families. Since 2014-15, under the scheme the total number of beneficiaries are 4,98,247.


A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Dr. Ambedkar International Centre (DAIC), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) in New Delhi on 20th June, 2019 in the presence of Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment.

The overall motives of this MoU is the empowerment of SC and ST communities through research on Dalit entrepreneurship, empowerment, skill development capacity building among SC/ST women and youth, impact of different schemes of the Government on socio-economic conditions of SC and ST and other similar subjects.


o Scheme of Dr.Ambedkar Chairs aims to provide well-funded Centres of learning to intellectuals, academicians and students to undertake studies and research with an intention to understand assess and disseminate ideas and thoughts of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

o Dr. Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration through Inter-Caste Marriages is to appreciate the socially bold step of an Inter-Caste marriage, taken by the newly married couple and to extend financial incentive to the couple to enable them to settle down in the initial phase of their married life.

o Dr. Ambedkar Foundation National Essay Competition Scheme is to encourage writing on social issues, among the Students of Schools / Colleges / Universities / Institutions and arouse their interest in Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts on fundamental social issues like social justice, removal of untouchability, caste based prejudices, removal of inequality and discrimination, social democracy, national integration, communal harmony etc.


The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment ShriThaawarchandGehlot took part in the 17th Run Against Drug Abuse”, on the occasion of ‘International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking’, in New Delhi on June 26, 2019.

Since 2014-15, Department of Social Justice & Empowerment has released Rs. 210.68 Crores towards the Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse. Under the scheme the total number of beneficiaries are 4,98,247 and Since 2014-15, Ministry has assisted 1777 projects of the 1082 NGOs throughout India.


DEPwD was created in order to give focused attention to Policy issues and meaningful thrust to the activities aimed at welfare and empowerment of the Persons with Disabilities.

It acts as a Nodal Agency for matters pertaining to disability and Persons with Disabilities including effecting closer coordination among different stakeholders: related Central Ministries, State/UT Governments, NGOs etc. in matters pertaining to disability.

Its vision is to build an inclusive society in which equal opportunities are provided for the growth and development of Persons with Disabilities so that they can lead productive, safe and dignified lives.

Its mission is toempower Persons with Disabilities, through its various Acts/Institutions/Organizations and Schemes for rehabilitation and to create an enabling environment that provides such persons with equal opportunities, protection of their rights and enables them to participate as independent and productive members of society.


1. Cabinet has approved the proposal of establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Sehore, Madhya Pradesh which has been registered as a society under Madhya Pradesh Society Registration Act, 1973 on 28th May 2019, with the objective to promote mental health rehabilitation using an integrated multidisciplinary approach and developing trained professionals in the area of mental health rehabilitation.

It is being set up on a piece of 25 acre of land allotted by the Government of Madhya Pradesh along Bhopal-Sehore highway in Madhya Pradesh. Pending construction of permanent site, NIMHR has been made functional from a temporary accommodation provided by the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh at Old Zila Panchayat Bhawan, Sehore w.e.f 30.09.2019.

It is providing rehabilitation and clinical services and also runs Certificate Course on Care Giving (CCCG). CPWD has invited tender for construction of building on turnkey/EPC mode and the bids are under evaluation.

2. India’s First Country Report on Status of Disability and Implementation of United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)was submitted in November,2015 was considered and successfully adopted by United Nations on 03rd September this year along with certain recommendations.

3. The Government has approved setting up of a Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh with a view to provide contemporary training facilities for Divyang Sportspersons at par with leading countries in the world.

The work order for setting up of the Centre has been issued to CPWD. A Project Monitoring Committee and a Governing Body has been constituted by the Department on 28.08.2019 to monitor the project implementation and overall supervision.

4. A Cultural Event “Divya Kala Shakti: Witnessing Ability in Disability” was organised on 23rd July, 2019. The event showcased the talents of children and youth with disabilities from different parts of the country.

It was held in the august presence of Hon’ble President of India, Hon’ble Vice-President of India, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Hon’ble Speaker of LokSabha, Hon’ble Council of Ministers and Hon’ble Members of both the Houses of Parliament

5. The Extension Centre of National Institute of Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD) at Andaman & Nicobar Islands has been upgraded to Composite Regional Centre on 19th June, 2019.

6. DEPwD has developed a Management Information System (MIS) Portal for stakeholders of Accessible India Campaign (AIC). Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment launched the MIS portal on 18.09.2019.

MIS portal will bring all the nodal Ministries, and States/UTs on a single platform for monitoring the progress being made against each target of AIC. The portal will be useful in maintaining all the function on digital platform and capture data on a real-time basis.

7. Secretary, DEPwD Participated In 22nd Session of UN Committee on CRPD at Geneva (09 SEP 2019). India is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

It ratified this Convention on 01-10-2007 in pursuance of Article 35 of the Convention. India submitted its First Country Report on Status of Disability in India in November 2015. The UN Committee on CRPD in its 22nd Session took up India’s First Country Report for consideration during 2nd & 3rd September 2019 at UNHRC, Geneva.

8. Observation of World Mental Health Day by DEPwD on 10th October, 2019. DEPwD observed the “World Mental Health Day” on 10th October, 2019.

The Department undertook a series of activities during the week by its various National Institutes to raise awareness about Mental Health issues including identification of early signs to prevent aggravation and rehabilitation/mainstreaming of successfully cured mentally ill persons.

9. The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkiah Naidu Conferred National Awards for Outstanding Work Done Towards Empowerment of PwDs on International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3rd December, 2019.

He conferred the National Awards on Individuals, Institutions, Organizations and State/District etc. for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot presided over the function. Ministers of State for Social Justice & Empowerment ShriKrishan Pal Gurjar, Shri Ramdas Athawale and Shri Rattan Lal Kataria also graced the occasion.

* Press Information Bureau wrote this article which was published at The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on February 23, 2020.

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