21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 – Blindness
Today we will talk about Blindness, one of the 21 disabilities that is covered under the RPWD ACT 2016.
As per law people are considered to be blind or with low vision if they have any of the following conditions
– Total absence of sight or
– Visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses
– Limitation of the field vision subtending an angle of 20 degree or worse.
– A person with impairment of visual functioning but is potentially capable of using vision for the planning or execution of a task with appropriate assistive device.
As per the World Health Organization, Blindness is defined as vision in a person’s best eye with best correction of less than 20/500 or a visual field of less than 10 degrees.
In India a person with a clarity of vision or Visual Acuity < 6/60 is legally blind. India changed its definition of blindness in 2017. Before that, for almost four decades since 1976, a person who was unable to count fingers from a distance of three metres would be considered "blind". However, now a person who is unable to count fingers from a distance of six metres is considered disabled due to blindness.
India accounts for the largest number of people with blindness. As per data, out of the 37 million blind people across the world, at least 15 million are in India.
Sadly the data also states that 75% of these are cases of avoidable blindness, but due to lack of awareness and medical facilities, the numbers continue to grow.