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As corporates continue to evolve along the social responsibility continuum one cannot help but ask, how strong is the CSR Disability connect?

According to World Bank, More than 1 billion persons globally live with some form of disability. This corresponds to about 15% of the world’s population.  10% of the World’s population of persons with disability around 7 Crore (70million people) live in India.

Disability inclusion has continued to evolve in India.  India signed and ratified UN CRPD in 2006. It replaced the old legislation on disability titled ‘People with Disabilities ACT of 2005’ with a new rights-based legislation titled ‘Rights of persons with disabilities ACT 2016’.  This ACT covers 21 disability categories as compared to 7 categories covered by the earlier legislation.  Despite progress achieved in adopting a rights-based framework, persons with disability continue to face attitudinal, social and institutional barriers to equal participation.  Inaccurate disability data continues to hinder progress on disability inclusion and formulate policies to mainstream disability across development.

Access to early intervention, educational/vocational training services, sustainable livelihood opportunities, public entitlements and advocacy support and financial exclusion continue to hinder the life chances and opportunities of persons with disabilities.  Intersecting issues of gender, disability, health including maternal and environmental health, decent work and occupational standards present an added dimension which warrant specific policy and practice interventions.

While recent efforts to deploy CSR resources to address disability issues in development are to be welcome, they are woefully inadequate.  There is a need for strategic and deeper engagement between corporates, community based and disabled persons organizations if we are to realize the goal of sustainable and inclusive development. The pledge of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development is to ‘Leave no one behind’.

Deal Foundation is committed to collaborative working and to build sustainable partnerships to create lasting economic and social impact in the lives of persons with disability and communities they live in.

This impact will be achieved through the convergence of relevant government, CSR funds and sustainable livelihood activities leading to inclusive growth and transformation.