Universal Identity Cards for PwDs to be released soon

Universal Identity Cards for PwDs to be released soon

New delhi, Jun 3: The Union govt is ready with Universal Identity Cards for the persons with disabilities (PwDs). All the preparatory work has been done including design of the card by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Very soon these will be passed on to the States for distribution.

State govts have been asked to gear up themselves to identify the persons with disabilities in their respective states, so that within one and half year all the disabled persons can have universal identity cards.

This was stated by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot while addressing the State Social Welfare Minister’s Conference here yesterday.

He said that these cards will be linked with the Aadhar card and data will be available online which will ensure transparency. The Universal Identity Cards will help the persons with disabilities to avail all govt schemes and reservation. These cards will be recognisable by all the States.

Referring various scholarship schemes for the persons with disabilities started by NDA govt in 2014-15, Gehlot said the govt is very keen that all deserving students with disabilities are assisted with these scholarships.

He urged the State govts to launch a campaign from next academic year to identify such students, to award them scholarships. He said that to avoid any delay and leakages his ministry has adopted DBT channel to pass on the scholarships.

Attending the conference, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Minister in-charge for Social Justice, Empowerment and Tribal Affairs Chowna Mein highlighted the State’s various initiatives to address the grievances of PwDs and for upholding their rights.

Apart from various programs and schemes of PwDs, the recent initiatives by the Govt of India like National Action Plan for Skill Development of Persons with Disabilities, Unique Disability Identification Cards and Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan or Accessible India Campaign were discussed in the conference, inaugurated by the Union Minister.

Mein informed that the Dept of Social Justice & Empowerment and Tribal Affairs in Arunachal has implemented the scheme – ‘State Program for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities’ to redress the grievances of PwDs and safeguard their rights, under which the State Disability Rehabilitation Centre (SDRC) and Physiotherapy Unit had been established.

In education sector, he informed that the State govt has released grant of Rs 50 lakh during last financial year for maintenance of Donyi-Polo Mission School for the Hearing & Visually Impaired, Chimpu, Itanagar while during this financial year, the govt has proposed for additional grants of Rs 40 lakh for renovation of institutional buildings.

Under the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, the department has written letters to all the Deputy Commissioners to submit the number of identified buildings to be covered so as to build accessibilities for persons with disabilities.

However, he regretted that due to paucity of fund, the independent State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities could not be set up. He requested the Centre to provide necessary financial assistance for establishment of office of the State Commissioner for PwDs in the State for proper and strict implementation of PwD Act.

Mein assured that a State Coordination Committee meeting would be held to identify the differently abled people along with other important points like reservation of seat for PwDs in APST buses, barrier-free access in public transport system, clearance of backlog post of all departments for appointment of PwDs under 3% reservation in all govt departments and the establishment of Braille Press Unit in the State.

He was accompanied by the Secretary of Social Justice, Empowerment and Tribal Affairs, Talem Tapok and Women & Child Development Deputy Director Sandhya Roy Chowdhury.

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