As per 2011 census, the State recorded 44317 Persons with Disabilities with 23326 male Persons with Disabilities and 20991 female Persons with Disabilities. The 2011 census shows that there are more male persons with disabilities than females.
Seeing the enormous increase in the number of Persons with Disabilities, the office of the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Meghalaya, came into existence in the year 2003, vide Notification number S.W. (S) 69/2001/122, dated 11.8.2003, with the first State Commissioner, Mr. Walpetar Roy Lyngdoh, M.C.S. to perform the functions assigned under section 60 of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995.The office is located in Temple Road , Lachumiere headed by the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (P.W.Ds). There are two Assistant Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities, one U.D.A., one Private Secretary, a Peon, Driver, Chowkidar and a Cleaner.
In recent years there have been vast changes in the perception of society towards Persons with Disabilities. It has been realized that majority of persons with disability can lead a normal life if they have easy access to rehabilitation services which would include early identification, intervention, education , vocational training , employment opportunities and the availability of aids and appliances. Also , provision of Social security by various means is very crucial for them.
As per Chapter XII section 80 9 (Function of State Commissioner)
The State Commissioner shall:-
(a) Identify, suo motu or otherwise, provision of any law or policy, programme and procedures, which are in consistent with this Act, and recommend necessary corrective steps;
(b) Inquire suo motu or otherwise deprivation of rights of persons with disabilities and safeguards available to them in respect of matter for which the State Government is the appropriate Government and take up the matter with appropriate authorities for corrective action.
(c) Review the safeguards provided by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force for the protection of rights of persons with disabilities and recommend measures for their effective implementation;
(d) Review the factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights of persons with disabilities and recommend appropriate remedial measures:
(e) Undertake and promote research in the field of the rights of persons with disabilities;
(f) Promote awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities and the safeguards available for their protection;
(g) Monitor implementation of the provisions of this Act and schemes, programmes meant for persons with disabilities;
(h) Monitor utilisation of funds disbursed by the State Government for the benefits of persons with disabilities; and
(i) Perform such other function as the State Government may assign.
Section 82 (1) (power of the State Commissioner)
The State Commissioner shall, for the purpose of discharging their functions under the RPwD Act, 2016, have the same power of a civil court as are vested in a court under the Code of Civil procedure, 1908 while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses;
(b) Requiring the discovery and production of any documents;
(c) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
(d) Receiving evidence on affidavits; and
(e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents.
(2) Every proceeding before the State Commissioner shall be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code and the State Commissioners shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purpose of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.