Race to meet March deadline to equip disabled govt staff with aid devices

The Pune-based Commissionerate of Disability has sought data on differently abled employees from all state government departments so that suitable devices can be given to them by March-end.

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune | Published:February 10, 2012 2:07 am

The Pune-based Commissionerate of Disability has sought data on differently abled employees from all state government departments so that suitable devices can be given to them by March-end. The efforts are in line with a government resolution (GR) by the social justice department,a first-of-its-kind initiative to enable differentially abled employees to improve efficiency.

A list of devices like talking aid software,walking sticks,wheelchairs,callipers and hearing aid has been drawn up.

“The initiative will cover all differently abled in all 29 state government departments. We have written to all departments. We have also conducted workshops and awareness programmes,’’ said disability commissioner Bajirao Jadhav.

The programme should attain completion by March 2012.

The GR was issued in three parts,on June 3,July 20 and August 20 last year,and mentions a list of devices. It states that employees should be reimbursed if they have buy any device and the department concerned should pay upto Rs 50,000 to them for any device obtained by an individual.

Nearly 16 lakh differently abled employees will get the devices to enhance efficiency. Most departments were yet to put in their requirements. March is the deadline. “Meanwhile,our regular monthly meetings check whether departments follow the three per cent reservation for employment of the disabled. Those not having the required number have been asked to place advertisements and get vacancies filled,’’ said Jadhav when apprised of many departments not having the required number.

The GR mentions that the devices will be provided by the commissionerate with funding from the respective departments.

Officials at the commissionerate said they are collating data on requirements from various departments. “The departments have their own funds and are supposed to reserve at least Rs 50,000 per individual for such devices and requirements. Though we have been campaigning for five months,few responses have come in. Many departments are yet to write to us,’’ said an official.

While social activists welcomed the move of the state government,there was skepticism on the actual figures of differently-abled employed with various departments.

“The initiative is good but the huge number mentioned by the department looks skewed. Nevertheless if the initiative is carried out in letter and spirit,it should be a good initiative to boost workplace efficiency,’’ said Samir Ghosh,an activist and researcher who works for the differentially abled.

Principal of Bal Kalyan Sanstha,Minita Patel,said the requirement should be assessed and it must be ensured that the right people get the aid. “Moreover,the department should be sensitized to their requirements. Giving the department the responsibility without assessment of actual requirements should be checked,’’ said Patel.

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