Gehlot assures Arunachal of help for the differently abled
Itanagar, June 7 (PTI): Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot today assured Arunachal Pradesh help from his ministry for the welfare of the differently abled persons in the state.
He asked the state government to immediately appoint an independent state commissioner for persons with disabilities so that schemes and funds can flow from the Centre seamlessly.
Gehlot asked the people to write to the ministry with proper address and details if they have or know of any child below the age of 6 who cannot hear or speak and assured that the government will immediately provide assistance.
Responding to Chief Minister Pema Khandus requests during the ‘Samajik Adhikarita Shivir’, a camp for free-of-cost distribution of aids and assistive devices for people with disabilities here, Gehlot said, “Submit the proposals and I assure approval within a month”.
At present the Commissioner of Social Justice, Empowerment and Tribal Affairs (SJETA) holds the additional charge of Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities.
Talking about cochlear implant and the assistance provided by his ministry, Gehlot informed that till date 1220 children below the age of six, including one from Arunachal Pradesh, have been provided with the free implant that costs about Rs six lakhs each.
He expressed satisfaction over the camp being held in Arunachal Pradesh where 957 persons with disabilities, including senior citizens, have been provided with aids and assistive devices free of cost which cost the government Rs 67.37 lakh.
He said that in the last five years, the ministry has organized 7150 such camps benefitting 11 lakh people and costing Rs 620 crore.
Khandu sought assistance from the ministry to make Papum Pare district, which is the most populated in the state, disability free by December this year as a pilot project and spread to the rest of Arunachal Pradesh.
He said the state government through SJETA is implementing the Chief Ministers Disability Pension Scheme, a flagship program of the state government that offers financial assistance of Rs 1000 per month as economic rehabilitation.
During 2017-18 a total amount of Rs 82,08000 was disbursed to 684 beneficiaries across the state.
Khandu also requested the union minister to consider opening a manufacturing unit of the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation Ltd (ALIMCO) in Arunachal Pradesh that would cater to the entire North East region.
ALIMCO, which manufactures aids and assistive devices for persons with disabilities, has auxiliary production Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jabalpur, Bengaluru and Chanalon in Punjab and one outreach centre at Guwahati.