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State’s only rehabilitation for disabled persons rots

By EMN Updated: Mar 26, 2015 11:55 pm

Staff Reporter
Dimapur, March 26

Earlier this year the government instituted investigations into what was reported to be embezzlement of more than 12 crores by officials of the disgraced Sc hool Education department. The funds were purportedly meant for persons with disabilities. In infuriation, officials of the state’s welfare agency for persons with disabilities had lashed out at the government stating that while other departments were enjoying funds and embezzling, Nagaland’s population of persons with disabilities still did not have even basic infrastructure, leave alone assistance from the government.
Walking inside the Dimapur District Hospital’s complex, one will come across a three-storied building with a board announcing, ‘District Disability Rehabilitation Centre.’ Nagaland’s only rehavbilittaion center for persons with disabilities remains unused for more than two years.
The center in Dimapur is the only centre for the entire people of Nagaland where help can be availed by persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, there is no remorse that it has been kept locked. The apathy proves that persons with disabilities in Nagaland have been left at mercy with no help coming from the government except for some few private clinics and nongovernmental organizations (one such charity body being the nongovernmental organization, Mobility India. The NGO visits Nagaland once in a year with various equipments and appliances for the disabled people).
Organizations representing persons with disabilities have served various memorandums to the government in the past appealing for reactivation of the rehabilitation center. The center was closed down in February 2013. This surprising disclosure was made by former employees during a short interaction on Thursday.
They also made known that Mobility India, from 2010 till February 2013, had been rendering support to the push for the center to go functional.
Nongovernmental organizations Prodigals’ Home, People In Need Foundation and Development Association of Nagaland are the three organizations in Nagaland that takes into their care people with disabilities. Assistant Director of Prodigals’ Home, Maong Jamir, who was present during the interaction, said that Nagaland State Disability Forum, which has more than 2, 000 members, was formed in 2014 to offer assistance to persons with disabilities.
Some of the care workers who were present during the interaction said that manpower was not the problem as the employees who were working in the past had to quit because their salaries were not paid and there was no assistance from the government.
The centre has enough materials but no fixed employees to run it as there is no assistance forthcoming from the government of Nagaland. Expensive appliances and office stationeries contributed by the International Red Cross Society to the center are gathering dust; there is literally none to use them.
As per the census 2011, there are 29, 631 persons with disabilities in Nagaland. It is noted that funds provided by the central government for persons in Nagaland living with disabilities, is unheard of in the state.
The state government has even yet to pay heed to the various problems faced by the people of Nagaland.
While the other northeastern states receive funds either from the centre or state governments, with active rehabilitation centers, Nagaland’s only one DDRC is kept locked. The office stationeries, equipments and appliances are lying inside unused and literally gathering dust and spider webs.
This is for the surprise of citizens who may not know: The ‘pension’ for persons with disabilities, Rs. 200, is provided to only a maximum of 2, 000 people – out of nearly 30, 000 disabled persons in Nagaland!

• ‘School Edu pocketed 12 crores meant for disabled persons’
• State’s only center for the marginalized community isn’t even functioning
• Employees quit when govt did not pay them salaries
• No assistance from govt: NGOs the only ones helping
• Nagaland govt’s funds for PLWD unheard of.

By EMN Updated: Mar 26, 2015 11:55:22 pm