Advertisement

Women and Men at Work: Livelihood Experiences of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) in West Bengal

  • Ipsita SapraEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Dynamics of Asian Development book series (DAD)

Abstract

Narratives of inactivity and dependence surrounding the persons with disability (PwD) often undermine the barriers erected by institutions mandated to support them. Whether educational or administrative, institutional failures at several levels prevent the PwDs from optimizing capabilities. Based on PhD research by the author on livelihoods of PwDs in Mandirbazar, a rural block in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, the present piece attributes the limited range and quality of livelihood choices of PwDs to institutional failures at several levels. This also challenges an individualistic understanding of disability. Documenting the work lives of the PwDs and illustrating their struggle to secure an economic foothold through a range of paid and unpaid work, the piece subjects the notion of “dependence” to greater scrutiny and argues that an overwhelming engagement with this narrative takes attention away from the fundamental issue institutional accountability. This chapter emphasizes that understanding livelihoods of PwDs requires deeper engagement with them and developing understanding of opportunities and barriers through their lens.

Keywords

Disability Work lives Experiences Policies Dependence 

References

  1. Barnes (2003), Work is a four letter word Disability, Work and Welfare Colin Barnes, Invited Presentation, Working Futures: Policy, Practice and Disabled People’s Employment University of Sunderland. http://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/files/library/Barnes-work-2.pdf. Accessed May 12th 2015.
  2. DFID. (2000). Disability, poverty and development. Available from: www.livelihoods.org/static/dfid_N163.html. Accessed October 12, 2010.
  3. Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2), 219–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Government of India. (2008). Ministry of rural development. Annual Report 2007–08. Available from: http://rural.nic.in/sites/downloads/annual-report/anualreport0708_eng.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2011.
  5. Government of West Bengal. (2010). Sphuran Office of the Commissioner of Disability, Government of West Bengal.Google Scholar
  6. Government of West Bengal. (2011). Annual report, 2011. Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, West Bengal (WBWCDSW).Google Scholar
  7. Government of India. (2013–2014). District information system on education (DISE) Available from: http://dise.in/Downloads/Elementary-STRC-2013-14/All-India.pdf. Accessed May 17, 2015.
  8. Government of India. (2013). MGNREGA briefing book. Available from: http://nrega.nic.in/Netnrega/WriteReaddata/Circulars/Briefing_booklet13.pdf. Accessed May 19, 2015.
  9. Government of India. (2015). The scheme of financial assistance for skill training of persons with disabilities. National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Available from: http://niepmd.tn.nic.in/documents/skill-0715.pdf. Accessed April 16, 2016.
  10. Ghai, A. (2009). Disabled women: An excluded agenda of Indian feminism. Hypatia, 17(3), 49–66 [Feminism and Disability, Part 2 (Summer, 2002)].Google Scholar
  11. Handicap International. (2006). Good practices for the economic inclusion of people with disabilities in developing countries: funding mechanisms for self-employment. Handicap International.Google Scholar
  12. Hiranandani, V., & Sonpal, D. (2010). Disability, economic globalization and privatization: A case study of India. Disability Studies Quarterly, 30(3/4).Google Scholar
  13. Lott, B. (2002). Cognitive and behavioral distancing from the poor. American Psychologist, 57(2), 100–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mitra, S., & Sambamoorthi, U. (2006). Government programs to promote employment among persons with disabilities in India. Indian Journal of Social Development, 6(2), 195–213.Google Scholar
  15. Miles, S., & Singal, N. (2010). The education for all and inclusive education debate: Conflict, contradiction or opportunity? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 141, 1–15.Google Scholar
  16. National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO). (2002) Disability in India. Statistical data. Available at http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/disablity_india_statistical_data_11mar2011/Chapter%202%20-Overview.pdf. Accessed April 19, 2011.
  17. National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) (2009) In people with disabilities in rural India: Base line ReportGoogle Scholar
  18. National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector (NCEUS). (2009). The challenge of employment in India: An informal economy perspective (Vol. I).Google Scholar
  19. Nussbaum, M. (2000). Women and human development: The capabilities approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Nussbaum, M. (2003). Capabilities as fundamental entitlements: Sen and social justice. Feminist Economics, 9(2/3), 33–59.Google Scholar
  21. Nussbaum, M. (2006). Poverty and human functioning: Capabilities as fundamental entitlements. In B. David, Grusky & R. Kanbur (Eds.), Poverty and inequality. Stanford UP.Google Scholar
  22. Oliver, M. (1990a). The individual and social models of disability. Paper presented at Joint Workshop of the Living Options Group and the Research Unit of the Royal College of Physicians on People With Established Locomotor Disabilities in Hospitals. Available from: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/disability-studies/archiveuk/Oliver/in%20soc%20dis.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2010.
  23. Oliver, M. (1990b). The politics of disablement: A sociological approach. New York: St Martin’s Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Oliver, M. (1996). Understanding disability: From theory to practice. Basingstoke: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pal, G. C. (2011). Disability. Intersectionality and deprivation: An excluded agenda, psychology developing societies, 23(2), 159–176.Google Scholar
  26. Robeyns, I. (2006). The capability approach in practice. Journal of Political Philosophy, 14(3), 351–376.Google Scholar
  27. Sen, A. (1980). Equality of what? In S. McMurrin (Ed.), The Tanner lectures on human values. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.Google Scholar
  28. Sen, A. (1985). Commodities and capabilities. Amsterdam: North Holland.Google Scholar
  29. Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  30. Sen, A. (2004). Capabilities, lists, and public reason: Continuing the conversation. Feminist Economics, 10, 77–80.Google Scholar
  31. Shakespeare, T. (2009). Disability: A complex interaction. In H. Daniels, H. Lauder, & J. Porter (Eds.) Knowledge, values and education policy: A critical perspective. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Singal, N. (2007). Conceptualising disability and education in the south: Challenges for research. RECOUP Working Paper 10, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  33. Singal, S., & Rogers, J. (2009). Transitions to adulthood for young people with disabilities in India: Current status and emerging prospects. Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal, 20(1). Available from: http://www.aifo.it/english/resources/online/apdrj/selread100/full_document.pdfAccessedon10-2-2012. Accessed June 30, 2011.
  34. Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (SDRS). (2008). Employment of persons with disabilities in public sectors in India emerging issues and trends—An Evaluation Study with Special Reference to Persons with Disabilities Act (1995) Commissioned by Planning Commission, Government of India. Available at https://wadhwani-foundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2008-Planning-commission-report-on-PwD-Employment.pdf. Accessed March 28, 2016.
  35. United Nations Development Programme. (2012). Livelihood opportunities for persons with disabilities. Available from: http://www.undp.org/content/dam/india/docs/pub-povertyreduction/livelihood-opportunities-for-persons-with-disabilities.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2011.
  36. WBDCDSW. (2010). Annual Report. Department of women and child development and social welfare. Government of West Bengal.Google Scholar
  37. WBCDSW. (2011). Annual Report. Department of women and child development and social welfare. Government of West Bengal.Google Scholar
  38. WHO. (2011). World report on disability. World Health Organization and the World Bank.Google Scholar
  39. World Bank. (2007). People with disabilities in India: From commitments to outcomes. Human Development Unit, South Asia Region. Available from: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INDIAEXTN/Resources/295583-1171456325808/Chapter07.pdf. Accessed November 27, 2010.

Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Livelihoods and DevelopmentTata Institute of Social SciencesHyderabadIndia

Personalised recommendations