The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is committed to develop an inclusive society for the Divyangs: Dr Virendra Kumar

New Delhi: Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar today said that his ministry is all committed to build an inclusive society for the divyangs. He was on a visit to Shillong where he held a meeting with officials of the Department of Social Welfare and other working NGOs.

The Minister said that Divyangs are the integral part of Human resource. He said that, ministry is working on the vision of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ of Prime Minister, and has implemented various welfare schemes for developing an inclusive society and empowerment of persons with disabilities. Informing about the work done in last seven years by Ministry, Union Minister said the Government is trying every effort to provide greater rights and entitlements to Divyang by envisioning an inclusive and enabling environment. Union Minister emphasised on Skill training programmes for empowerment of Divyang to bring them in the mainstream of society for overall development of the country and to help them to make self reliant and independent.

Speaking on welfare schemes of the government, Dr Kumar said that under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Central Government has implemented various welfare schemes in the interest of Divyangs of the country. He applauded the efforts of Prime Minister for empowering the Divyangs and informed the gathering that around 10,000 Divyang camps were organised after 2014 in the country, wherein more than 20 crore Divyangs were given various aids worth Rs. 500 Crores. The Union Minister also informed that his ministry has been working aggressively at the Drug Rehabilitation Centres and Old Age Homes in the country and informed that monitoring and surveillances have been made strict at those centres for proper care and security of the inmates. The Union Minister also made a visit to Kirpa Foundation at Upper Lachumiere, Shillong and spoke with the inmates.

Explaining about various scheme run by Government of India for welfare of Divyang, the Union Minister went all praise about the achievement made during the recent Tokyo 2020 Paralympics held in August-September, 2021 where the Indian Paralympians created history by winning 19 medals including 5 Gold, 8 Silver and 6 Bronze. He informed that his government has taken initiatives for special sports training institute for the Divyang at various places in the country including one at Shillong.

The Minister referred to “the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016” while speaking of the welfare initiative of the government. The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities, he added. He said that the government through this Bill has increased the reservation for Divyangs from 3 to 4 per cent in Central Government Services and 5 per cent for in education for them.

Speaking about the menace of the substance abuse, the Union Minister was very categorical when he said that drug addiction affects not only a person or family, but the entire society. While expressing his deep concern, he pointed out that it is a big challenge for the NE states who are sharing boundaries with other countries, as these routes are frequently issued by drug paddlers for transit of drugs. While expressing satisfaction that the states government are making all-out efforts to curb the menace, he called upon the states governments to work more vigorously so that the youth who are affected by this menace can be linked with the NGOs and the schemes of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It is the duty of everyone to educate the people about the ill effects of drug abuse and to assist the rehabilitation of victims of substance abuse, he added. The Minister reaffirmed the commitment of the government to achieve social goals to end drug abuse and strengthen community-centric approaches and outcomes. He said that the dream of the Prime Minister of India for a Nasha Mukt Bharat will be successful only when officials in the government, NGOs and community at large work together to end the menace from its roots.

The meeting was attended by Secretary North Eastern Council, Shri K Moses Chalai, Principal Secretary, Govt of Meghalaya Shri Sampath Kumar, Smt M N Nampui, Commissioner & Secretary, Govt of Meghalaya, senior officials of the Department of Social Welfare and NGOs working for the department.