November 15, 2021 8:27:46 am
A three-day camp organised by Social Welfare Department, Chandigarh, in association with Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), led to a controversy with some visitors complaining that they were asked to sign on a form saying they received an assistive device even when they had not.
A 58-year -old differently-abled person said, “I visited the camp on November 12 after I read an advertisement promising distribution of free hearing-aids. I was given a form to be signed which read, “I have received the Hearing-Aid Appliance and I have been handed over the appliance defect-free”.
However there was no such distribution. I was vigilant enough to read the form before signing but many others whose signatures or thumb impressions were taken on the assessment data form did not even know what was happening.”
The senior citizen added, “When I asked the officials for an explanation, I was told that the appliances would be given at the end of January next year.”
He was further told that the camp was just an assessment drive. “However, this was not mentioned in the forms,” he said.
The Nodal Officer, Social Welfare Department, said, “It is just a misunderstanding, the code of conduct is in force due to the MC elections in December, so we cannot give free aids and appliances. As soon as the code of conduct ends, we will distribute these aids. Plus let’s say if there are limbs to be provided to disabled persons, we have to first take their sizes. The camp conducted this exercise.”
Another official from the Social Welfare Department, Chandigarh, who requested anonymity, said, “Under the ADIP scheme, the government will provide assistive aids free of cost to all persons with disabilities. Social Welfare Department Chandigarh only coordinates and organises the camp, where officials of ALIMCO assess PWD and senior citizens as per their requirements and then they allocate the aids and appliances.”
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