Odisha government likely to conduct fresh disability census
Asia-Pacific, March 27 2017
BHUBANESWAR, INDIA: With the Centre contemplating to broaden the criteria for persons with disabilities, Odisha Government is likely to start a fresh enumeration of persons with disabilities within a few months. The Centre is currently reviewing the proposal to include 22 additional disabilities apart from the existing eight conditions.
The Government will begin the enumeration process from the Capital City. As part of the initiative, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) in association with Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SSEPD) and State Institute for Disability Rehabilitation on Friday launched ‘Bhima Bhoi Samarthya Sibir’, a camp to enrol, enable and empower persons with disabilities in the City.
Persons with disabilities registered themselves for the Unique Identity for Person with Disability (UDID) cards under ‘Swabalamban’ Scheme at the camp. The UDID for persons with disabilities covers vision, cerebral palsy, low vision, locomotor disability, leprosy, intellectual and hearing disability. The Department targets to enrol at least 3,000 persons with disabilities at the camp which will end on Saturday.
Sources said the number of persons with disabilities in the Capital City would rise significantly, from 30,000 to around 50,000, if the proposal to include more disabilities is approved by the Centre. Their number would reach upto one lakh if the new criteria are included as NGOs working for persons with disabilities rehabilitation stated that there is a huge gap between official figures and actual number of persons with disabilities in the City.
Director SSEPD Manasi Nimbhal said the UDID Card will streamline the tracking system of physical and financial progress of beneficiaries at village, block, district and State levels.
Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) Vice-Chairman Krishan Kumar said by-laws will be amended very soon to make the accessibility clause a must for all public buildings.
An awareness session on the recently constituted Autism Appellate Medical Board was also held at the camp. Among others, Tourism Minister Ashok Panda, Mayor AN Jena, MLA (North) Priyadarshi Mishra and SSEPD Principal Secretary Niten Chandra were present.