People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 49

December 04, 2011


Differently-Abled Persons Press Their Demands


IN connection with the nationwide signature campaign on some specific issues facing the disabled persons, various programmes were organised at several state headquarters and district centres on November 25. The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) has been conducting this campaign.


In Delhi, an NPRD delegation met the union minister for social justice and empowerment (MSJE), Mukul Wasnik, on the day and submitted him a memorandum. Smt Brinda Karat accompanied the delegation.


The minister gave the delegation a patient hearing and assured that appropriate measures would be taken soon.


The NPRD’s memorandum to the minister referred to the shocking fact of the non-inclusion of disabled persons in the automatic inclusion category for the 2011 BPL census being conducted by the ministry for rural development. Even more shocking is the non-intervention of the MSJE in the matter, despite the Supreme Court order of May 2, 2003 clearly laying down that the disabled have to be listed in the automatic inclusion category for Antodaya benefits. The memorandum therefore demanded that all the disabled persons should be provided with BPL cards.


Another demand was about disability allowance. The NPRD said the central government currently provides an assistance of Rs 200 per month per beneficiary, under the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS). On the other hand, the amount being given to the beneficiaries at the state level differs from state to state. In some states it is as low as Rs 200 whereas in some it is Rs 1200.


However, in the light of the increasing cost of living, the central allocation per beneficiary must be raised to Rs 500 and the states must be asked to provide at least a matching amount so that each beneficiary receives at least Rs 1000 per month.


The criteria, norms and rules for receiving this allowance also varies from state to state. They also have to be made uniform.


The memorandum further said there must be one universally valid identity card, to be issued by the village/taluka office and delivered at the residence of the disabled person within seven days of the receipt of an application. Multiplicity of cards and certificates obstructs the disabled from seeking benefits, the memorandum pointed out.


There are no correct data available on the backlog in vacancies for the disabled in various departments. Special drives have to be launched by all departments to clear the backlogs.


Jobs for persons with different disabilities must should be identified, reviewed and updated. These have to be notified and filled by central and state government departments and PSUs within a stipulated time-frame. The SJEM must create a monitoring mechanism for this purpose.


The delegation comprised Abdul Mabood (Snehi), Pankaj Sinha (HRNL), Shampa Sengupta (SDRC) and Muralidharan (NPRD).


The organisations that submitted the memorandum were the Differently-Abled Welfare Federation (Kerala), Haryana Viklang Adhikar Manch, Himachal Viklang Adhikar Manch, Human Rights Law Network (New Delhi), Jharkhand Viklang Morcha, Karnataka Rajya Angavikalara Mattu Palakara Okkota, Manipur Rights for the Disabled, NPRD Andhra Pradesh unit, Platform for Rights of Disabled (Orissa), Paschim Banga Prathibandhi Sammelini, Snehi (Delhi), Sruti Disability Rights Centre (West Bengal), Tamilnadu Association for the Rights of Differently-Abled & Caregivers and Viklang Adhikar Manch of Gujarat.