Background Note about National Trust and Inclusive India Initiative

  • National Trust is an autonomous organization under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India. It has been created by an Act of Parliament for physical, economic and socio-cultural empowerment of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disabilities and Multiple Disabilities.
  • Vision of the National Trust is a society where people with Intellectual Disabilities and their families are valued and can participate equally and all persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (PwIDDs) can live an independent and dignified life with equal participation in all activities of the society.
  • National Trust is delivering a range of services from early childhood intervention to day-care services and skill development of persons with IDDs. It also has schemes for medical insurance, scholarship and support of marketing of products made by Persons with IDDs.  National Trust delivers all its programmes and schemes through a network of about 500 registered organizations.  Most of these are non-governmental organizations/ voluntary organizations/ associations of parents.
  • India is a signatory to the UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities) which aims on full participation of persons with disabilities in their schools, colleges, communities and workplace. India, in fact, is one of the first few countries to ratify the UNCRPD.
  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, in alignment with the UNCRPD vision also provides for inclusive education institutions, inclusive employment polices & non-discrimination & employment and rights for persons with disabilities to participate in cultural life, recreational activities and sporting activities.
  • While National Trust tries to bring inclusion through its various activities, programmes and services, it felt a necessity for a concerted initiative with the help of parents of children with IDDs and civil society institutions working in this sector to create a large scale awareness initiative for inclusion of PwIDDs.
  • The Inclusive India Initiative, to be spearheaded by National Trust would have three important elements, namely, “Inclusive Education”, “Inclusive Employment” and “Inclusive Community Life”.
  • The outcome National Trust seeks from this initiative is an enhanced sense of belonging for persons with Developmental Disabilities and seek human, social and economic development of the Society as the community becomes stronger by embracing diversity.
  • Inclusive Education: Schools are social environments, providing opportunity to children and young people to meet their peers and learn different kind of things through them. Inclusive Education is essential to children and young people with IDDs.  Article 24 of UNCRPD and Section 16, 17 and 18 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 clearly establish inclusive setting as the first choice for education.  Education systems should be inclusive at all levels and also provide reasonable accommodation and  a range of effective individualized supports that meet the needs of all students with disabilities.  As part of Inclusive India Campaign, National Trust will work with Human Resource Development Departments, Government of India, State Governments and public and private educational institutes for creating awareness of inclusive education on one side and for making physical infrastructure of schools accessible and inclusive on the other side.
  • Inclusive Employment: Employment is much more than simply earning money. We meet new people and establish new friendships, it instils a feeling of self-worth and enables greater independence.  Perhaps more importantly it affects how other people and society in general view us – attributing feelings of value, contribution, ability and capacity.  Unfortunately, there is a lack of employment opportunities for most persons with developmental disabilities.  Research and personal stories clearly demonstrate that PwIDDs can and indeed want to work.   When supported, they can be and are gainfully employed in meaningful jobs.  Employers who hire persons with IDDs speak positively of their value as employees and their contribution to the workplace.  Yet most employers fail to recognize the potential value in hiring people with intellectual disabilities, and certainly do not view them as a pool of potential employees.  To create a positive impact on employment creation for PwIDDs, National Trust will work with industrial bodies like FICCI and CII for undertaking an awareness drive for public and private sector employers.
  • Inclusive Community Life: All people, regardless of abilities, should have access to, choice of, and an opportunity to participate in a full range of community activities. However, traditionally, recreation and leisure activities have not only been given low priority as an area in which support and assistance are provided to PwIDDs.  For many the choice is limited to segregated recreation and leisure.  In order to assist people to participate in inclusive settings, it may be necessary to provide some support or accommodation.  National Trust will work with PwIDDs, their families, civil society organizations to create a visibly significant impact on Inclusion of Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in community life.
  • The NGOs working with National Trust, namely, Registered Organizations and other voluntary agencies will be the primary vehicle for mission of Inclusive India. Along with this, National Trust will work with community organizations, Government Organizations and private sector organizations in creating inclusion in the education, employment and community.