"5500 mega distribution camps have been organized nationwide in more than 250 parliamentary constituencies to benefit 7.5 lakh disabled people for the distribution of cochlear implants under the Accessible India Campaign of government of India," said Krishan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) today.
Enumerating the various initiatives of the government for the persons with disablity, Mr. Gurjar mentioned that the government has now increased the reservation from 3% to 4% in central government services and to 5% in education for them. He also mentioned that it has now included 21 types of disabilities for PWDs to utilize the services.
"Five years old child with disability shall be sponsored with Rs.6 lakh for cochlear implants by the government while the elderly disabled people (60 plus of age) who are below poverty line will be taken care of by the government for their every disabled need. 12-13 camps in India have been established in this regard," he mentioned.
The Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, Prof. Ravindra Kumar, emphasized on the vocational rehabilitation and economic inclusion of PWDs in society and encourage their participation in all spheres of life.
"According to the 2011 census of India, there are 2.68 crore PWDs, the number would have definitely increased by now. The government has been successful in providing Rs.808 crore aid to 1,43,000 disabled people in the year 2017. It has also provided Rs.77 crore worth scholarships to 13,140 students of NHFDC who underwent 3-6 months training course along with a stipend of Rs.2000 per month," said Mr. Athawale while mentioning the contribution of the government in the past three years.
"It is not perfect to call them disabled as it hurts their sentiments. We aim to make them independent which is why we are active in organizing camps. More than 550 such camps have been organized by now to benefit 7.5 lakh disabled with wheel chairs, computers, artificial limbs, etc.," he concluded while strongly believing in creating an employability hub for them.
Dr Hemlata, Director, NCDS, IGNOU in her address outlined the various initiatives that the university has taken to make education accessible to the persons with disability. "The university provides study material in Braille for learners with vision disability.To help learners easily access the course material for most of the programmes, the same has been digitized and is available through e-Gyankosh interface of the university," she mentioned.
The two day program starting today would have 28 abstracts being presented by experts covering range of topics and issues concerning the persons with disability. Prof. S.K. Mishra, Deputy Director, NCDS presented the vote of thanks.
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