The country faces a major dearth of trained professionals who can provide basic educational and vocational skills to the disabled population, the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) said Thursday.
At the inauguration of a two-day national meet on disability in the capital, J.P. Singh, executive head of the RCI, said the country needs 152,000 trained professionals to impart basic and vocational training to the disabled in India.
“The number of trained manpower that we have registered is in thousands, but we need in lakhs. There is a big gap between the numbers,” Singh said.
The number of professionals registered with the RCI, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, is 48,000, while the demand is for 200,000 — thus a gap of 152,000 trained professionals, officials pointed out.
Ian Cardozo, chairman of the RCI, said: “Many NGOs working in the field of disability are in desperate need for trained human resource. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed immediately.”
V.N. Pillai, vice chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), who also participated in the meet, said: “It is important that we shift our focus from just raising funds (for this sector) to addressing the need for the right talent to ensure effective implementation of schemes for the disabled.”
According to government estimates, the country has approximately 20-30 million disabled people. But NGOs estimate the number to be much higher, at around 60-70 million