Persons with disabilities to get Universal ID cards: Minister

Asia-Pacific, August 27 2014

BHUBANESWAR, INDIA: ‘Universal Identity Cards’ would be issued to persons with disabilities for which a survey would begin next month to ascertain the exact number of disabled people in the country, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said on Tuesday.

“The census figure does not provide a clear and proper picture on the actual number of persons with disabilities. Our ministry has decided to conduct a country-wide survey to identify people with disabilities and issue them universal identity cards,” Gehlot told reporters here.

Stating that the survey slated to begin next month would be completed by March 2015, the Union Minister said the multipurpose identity cards would enable the persons with disabilities to avail treatment and other facilities in any part of the country.

In the absence of proper identity cards, persons with disabilities often face difficulties in getting treatment and other facilities when they move out of their states, he said.

Elaborate deliberations have been undertaken during the last two months pertaining to the proposed exercise to identify persons with disabilities and issue them cards, he said adding preparations are on for the purpose.

Though a person is recognized as disabled if he/she has more than 40 per cent disability as per norms, those with less degree of physical deformity should also be considered as disabled and issued identity cards, he said.

The minister said people with 70 to 90 per cent disability would be provided with motorized tricycles costing about Rs 45,000 each for which the Centre would give Rs 30,000 subsidy each. Efforts are on to make available the rest amount from MPLAD fund, he said adding talks are on with states for getting part of the money from MLA’s local area development fund.

Referring to Odisha, the minister said the number of persons with disabilities in the state was high. Gehlot said he has accepted the state’s proposal for setting up regional centres of three premier national institutes in Odisha to empower persons with disabilities in the state.

Gehlot, who on Monday inaugurated a girls’ hostel at the National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (Nirtar) at Olatpur near Cuttack, said the state ministers have assured him that required support including land would be provided for the three proposed regional centres.

As soon as land is available, work for regional centres of Dehradun-based National Institute of Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Hyderabad-based National Institute of Mentally Handicapped (NIMH) and Chennai-based National Institute of Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities would begin, Gehlot said.

Stating that 15 to 20 acres of land would be required for each of these centres, the minister said the final shape and location of the centres would be decided on the basis of state’s requirement and availability of land.

Each centre would have upto 200-bed hospitals and an investment to the tune of around Rs 30 crore may be required, he said adding a concrete picture would emerge when the final projects are prepared.

Gehlot, who inaugurated the Girls’ Hostel of Nirtar built at a cost of Rs 6.5 crore, said steps are being taken for modernisation of the centre where a large number of patients come from states like Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

On Monday, Odisha’s Minister for Disability Welfare Pranab Prakash Das met Gehlot here and submitted a memorandum demanding three regional centres in the state. Odisha’s Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Minister Lalbihari Himirika also met him.

Source: Shillong Times

Share this post: