String of welfare schemes being implemented for differently abled persons in J&K: SWD

Jammu: The Department of Social Welfare today said that a string of schemes are being implemented in Jammu and Kashmir for the comprehensive development and rehabilitation of specially abled persons.

While the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016, has already been extended to J&K under J&K Re-organization Act for the protection of their rights, the Government is also in the process of inclusion of J&K in the National Trust Act, 1999 so that the facilities and rights pertaining the specially abled sector becomes universally applicable for the residents of UT of J&K, the department said.

Under the existing schemes, the Department is providing financial assistance in the form of pensions to the specially abled persons under the scheme (NSAP/ISSS) and at present 85272 PwD are availing pension under the Physically Challenged Category in Jammu Division.

Other than this, prosthetic aid viz: Hearing Aid, Walking Sticks, Crutches, Wheel Chairs, Motorized Tricycles etc. is being provided free of cost to them. Besides, this, ALIMCO is also providing Prosthetic Aid under ADIP Scheme.

Under the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016, the UT administration has already constituted an Advisory Board. The Government has also constituted an Expert Committee under the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016 for identification of suitable posts for the specially abled persons in the Government jobs. Umesh Sharma, Chairman Disabled Care Foundation Jammu has been nominated as empanelled member of the Expert Committee to ensure that the welfare rights of Specially Abled persons are taken care of. The Government is also providing reservation in jobs for specially abled persons under rules.

The demand for conducting the survey of PwDs in the UT of J&K is also under the consideration of the government and it mulls to conduct the survey in the next Census.

In order to enhance quality of life of persons with disability by way of rehabilitation, education and training, one Composite Regional Centre is already functional in Kashmir Division and another CRC is proposed to be established in Jammu Division.

With regard to the grievance pertaining to increase in pension, a proposal has been submitted to the Administrative Department for enhancement of pension which is under consideration.

Meanwhile, the Department has sent a communication to the Department of FCS&CA of UT of J&K to cover all eligible specially abled persons under PHH category and to extend the benefits under NFSA/PMGKAY.

Further, the Govt. has established Residential School for the Blind in Jammu for the protection, welfare and education of the blinds.

Also, the NGOs working in the field of welfare of the specially abled persons are provided Grant-in-Aid under E-ANUDAN as well as Grant-in-Aid Schemes of the of UT of J&K. Under Accessible India campaign (AIC)/ Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, the department has been facilitating the construction of ramps under SIPDA for creating a barrier free environment and to ensure easy moment in public places for specially abled persons.

Halfway Homes for mentally cured persons who do not need further hospitalization and are Homeless, as not accepted by their families, is also run by the department.

District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs) at Udhampur, Jammu & Doda are already functional where specialized treatment and rehabilitative support is being provided to the specially abled persons.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Govt. is providing age relaxation for availing loans for business, trade purposes, educational loans for the specially abled persons through JKEDI, Khadi Village Industries Board and J&K SC, ST & Backward Classes Development Corporation Limited (in collaboration with National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation) respectively, for educational upliftment and in order to encourage the specially abled persons to pursue higher studies, the Social Welfare Department is providing scholarship to them and in specific cases, Educational prosthetics are provided to them to overcome various impediments.