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National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999

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The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act was passed by Parliament in 1999. This act covers the following disability areas and is defined by the National Trust as follows:

  • "Autism means a condition of uneven skill development primarily affecting the communication and social abilities of a person, marked by repetitive and ritualistic behavior."
  • "Cerebral Palsy means a group of non-progressive condition of a person characterized by abnormal motor control posture resulting from brain insult or injuries occurring in the pre-natal, perinatal or infant period of development."
  • "Multiple disabilities means a combination of two or more disabilities as defined in clause (i) of section 2 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995."
  • "Severe Disability means disability with eighty percent or more of one or more multiple disabilities.

Objectives of the Trust:

The objectives of the National Trust are:

  • To enable and empower persons with disability (persons covered by the National Trust) to live as independently and as fully as possible within and as close to the community to which they belong.
  • To strengthen facilities to provide support to persons with disabilities to live within their own families and to help persons with disabilities who have no family support.
  • To extend support to registered organizations'that provide need-based services to family of persons with disabilities.
  • To promote measures of care for persons with disabilities in the event of a death of their parent or guardian.
  • To evolve procedure for the appointment of guardians and trustees for persons with disability requiring protection.
  • To facilitate the realization of equal opportunities, protection of right, and full participation of persons with disability.
  • To do any other act which is incidental to the objectives mentioned above.

(Source: The National Trust Act, 1995)

Powers and Duties of the Board

  • The Board shall receive funds from the Central Government in each financial year, which may be considered necessary; to provide financial assistance to registered organizations for carrying out "approved programs."
  • Approved programs means:
    • Any program which promotes independent living in the community for persons with a disability by creating a conducive environment, or by counseling and training of family members, or by setting up adult training units, individual or group homes.
    • Any program which promotes respite care, foster family care or day care service for persons with disability.
    • Setting up of residential hostels and residential homes for persons with disability.
    • Development of self-help groups for persons with disability that pursue the realization of their rights.
    • Setting up local committee to grant approval for guardianship.
    • Other programs which promote the objective of the Trust.
  • Regarding allocations for funds for programs, preference shall be given to women with disability, or to persons with severe disability and to senior citizens with disability (i.e. person above the age of 65 years).

Procedure for Registration

  • Any association of persons with disability or any association of parents of persons with disability or any voluntary organization whose main objective is promotion of welfare of persons with disability may make an application for registrations to the Board.


  • A parent of a person with a disability or his or her relative may make an application to the local level committee to appoint any person of choice to act as a guardian of the person with disability.
  • Any registered organization may make an application to the local committee for appointment of guardian for a person with disability.
  • The local committee will decide whether the person with disability needs a guardian and the purpose for guardianship.
  • The appointed person or people as guardian would have to either care for the person with disability and his property or be responsible for the maintenance of the person with disability.
  • Every person appointed as a guardian of a person with disability, within a period of six months from the date of his appointment, will deliver to the authority that appointed him-
    • An inventory of immovable property.
    • All assets and other moveable property received on behalf of the person with disability.
    • And a statement of all claims and liabilities due by the person with disability.
  • Every guardian will also provide to the appropriate authority within a period of three months at the close of every financial year-
    • An account of the property and assets in his charge.
    • The sums received and disbursed on account of the person with disability and the balance remaining.
  • A parent, relative of a person with disability or registered organization may apply to the committee for the removal of guardian if they find that-
    • The guardian is abusing or neglecting a person with a disability.
    • Or misappropriating or neglecting the property.

Accountability and monitoring

  • Any registered organization can submit a written requisition to the Board to access any book or document maintained by them.

This act aims to provide guardianship rights to persons with disabilities and aims at protecting persons with disabilities in the event of death of their parent or guardian.

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