Since the 1970s, the international disability rights movement, the United Nations and national governments across the world have attempted to ameliorate the status of the disabled population through a range of legislative and policy measures primarily in the areas of health, education, employment, accessible environments and social security. While the discourse in the disability sector in India has shifted from charity and welfare to human rights and entitlements, disability studies — as an interdisciplinary academic terrain that focuses on the contributions, experiences, history and culture of persons with disabilities — has not yet taken root.

This volume collates some of the most recent pioneering work on disability studies from across the country. The essays presented here engage with the concept of disability from a variety of disciplinary positions, sociocultural contexts and subjective experiences within the overarching framework of the Indian reality. The contributors — including some with disabilities themselves — provide a well-rounded perspective, in shifting focus from disability as a medical condition only needing clinical intervention to giving it due social and academic legitimacy.

This book outlines key issues that would be germane to any disability studies endeavour in India and South Asia, and will appeal to academics, activists, institutions, laypersons and professionals involved in social welfare, sociology, disability studies, women’s studies, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and social and preventive medicine.

chapter |31 pages


ByRenu Addlakha

part I|61 pages

Disability Movement, Disability Rights and Disability Studies

chapter 1|26 pages

Historicising Disability in India: Questions of Subject and Method

ByShilpaa Anand

chapter 2|17 pages

Disability Rights and the Emergence of Disability Studies

ByJagdish Chander

chapter 3|16 pages

Tracking Disability through the United Nations

ByN. Sundaresan

part II|103 pages

Family, Care and Work

chapter 4|25 pages

Prenatal Diagnosis: Where do We Draw the Line?

ByAnita Ghai, Rachana Johri

chapter 5|23 pages

Burden of Caring: Families of the Disabled in Urban India

ByUpali Chakravarti

chapter 6|24 pages

Exploring Constructs of Intellectual Disability and Personhood in Haryana and Delhi

ByNilika Mehrotra, Shubhangi Vaidya

part III|83 pages

Gender and Disability

part IV|48 pages

Assertion of Difference through Art and Communication

chapter 12|18 pages

Body/Text: Art Project on Deafness and Communication

ByJosé Abad Lorente

chapter 13|28 pages

Blind With Camera: Photographs by the Visually Impaired

ByPartho Bhowmick

part V|92 pages

Contesting Marginality at Micro-and Macro-levels