In a bid to empower and enable disabled persons, the Centre today said Universal Disability Identity (UDID) cards will be provided to persons with disabilities which will have universal recognition.
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) is in the process of providing UDID cards to persons with disabilities, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Kamlesh Kumar Pandey said at a press conference here. Besides, under skill development, the government has set a target to train five lakh persons with disabilities upto 2018 and 25 lakh persons upto 2022. So far, 44,000 persons with disabilities have been trained, Pandey said.
He said the office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) came into existence in 1998 under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
The function of the Chief Commissioner is to coordinate the work of the State Commissioners, monitor utilisation of funds disbursed by the Centre and take steps to safeguard the rights and facilities made available to persons with disabilities. Pandey said after the enactment of the Right to Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, there will be 19 categories of disabilities in place of seven and reservation in jobs would be enhanced to five percent in place of existing three percent. He said in order to reach out to the community, 'mobile courts' were being organised in different parts of the country.
So far, 33 mobile courts in 18 States of Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal had been organised.
The Chief Commissioner said 32,927 cases have been registered in the office of CCPD and 31,507 cases had been disposed off, since its inception in 1998 till August 31 this year.
As many as 1,189 complaints have been received so far through email service, which was started in February this year, Pandey said. He said that the department has conducted 1,850 camps for distribution of aid and appliances and Rs 225 crore were spent on the exercise. A total of 4,40,000 persons with disabilities benefited from the initiative.
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in collaboration with the Government of Germany has also started modernisation of Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India in Kanpur, and Rs 238 crore was sanctioned for the purpose, the official stated.
Pandey said the Central government was also providing various scholarships to special students going abroad for education, which included 46,000 pre-matric scholarships, 30,000 matric scholarships and 200 scholarships to research enthusiasts.
National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation is providing loans at a rate of four percent to the people with disabilities to start self-employment initiatives. The Chief Commissioner said the government has selected 50 cities under Accessible India Campaign. Under the campaign, 100 buildings in each of these cities would be made accessible to the people with special needs, he added.