2.68 crore differently-abled people in India


The number of people with disabilities in India have touched 2.68 crore, an increase of 49.09 lakh in ten years, with 70 per cent of them living in rural areas.

According to Census 2011 figures published on Tuesday, these people live in 2.07 crore households, which is 8.3 per cent of total households in the country.

People facing challenges in movement top the list with 54.36 lakh followed by hearing impaired (50.72 lakh) and visually challenged (50.33 lakh).

Among the 2.68 crore disabled people, which includes 1.18 crore lakh women, Uttar Pradesh tops the list of states that houses most of them at 41.57 lakh followed by Maharashtra 29.63 lakh and Bihar 23.31 lakh. Karnataka with 13.24 lakh disabled is eighth in the list while national capital Delhi has 2.34 lakh people with disabilities.

The fresh census figures comes at a time Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014, which mandates reservations in education and employment, preference in government schemes and access to all public buildings among others, is pending in Parliament despite demands for its early passage.

Though 70 per cent of disabled lives in rural areas, figures for 2011 showed the number of households with disabled people in urban areas were increasing faster compared to rural areas. In 2011, there was an addition of 6.2 lakh households in rural while it was 14.3 lakh for urban areas.

At present, 1.46 crore rural households shelter 1.86 crore disabled, which includes 82.25 lakh women. The number of disabled women in rural households is about 70 per cent of the disabled women in the country.

Among the disabilities in women, visually challenged topped the list with 23.944 lakh and was closely followed by those with hearing problems at 23.943 lakh. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of 17.93 lakh disabled women followed by Maharashtra (12.71 lakh), Andhra Pradesh (10.42 lakh), Bihar (9.87 lakh) and West Bengal (8.90 lakh).

Five states – UP, Maharashtra, Andhra, Bihar and Bengal– alone account for more than 50 per cent of disabled women in the country.

While challenges in movement, hearing and seeing topped the list of disabilities, people with multiple disorders was ranked fourth with 21.16 lakh, including 9.53 lakh women. There were 15.05 lakh mentally challenged and 7.22 lakh mentally ill people in the country.

Disabled Population in India





1. Uttar Pradesh

41.57 lakh

23.64 lakh

17.93 lakh

2. Maharashtra

29.63 lakh

16.92 lakh

12.71 lakh

3. Bihar

23.31 lakh

13.43 lakh

9.87 lakh

4. Andhra Pradesh

22.66 lakh

12.24 lakh

10.42 lakh

5. West Bengal

20.17 lakh

11.27 lakh

8.90 lakh

8. Karnataka

13.24 lakh

7.26 lakh

5.97 lakh


2.68 crore

1.49 crore

1.18 crore

Source: Census 2011



Total: 1.86 crore

Male: 1.04 crore

Female: 82.25 lakh

Source: Census 2011


Total: 81.78 lakh

Male: 45.78 lakh

Female: 36 lakh







54.36 lakh

33.70 lakh

20.66 lakh


50.72 lakh

26.78 lakh

23.943 lakh


50.33 lakh

26.39 lakh

23.944 lakh

Multiple Disorders

21.16 lakh

11.62 lakh

9.53 lakh


19.98 lakh

11.22 lakh

8.75 lakh

Mental Retardation

15.05 lakh

8.70 lakh

6.35 lakh

Mental Illness

7.22 lakh

4.15 lakh

3.07 lakh

Other disorders

49.27 lakh

27.28 lakh

21.99 lakh

Source: Census 2011

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on July 1, 2015)


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