As the pandemic is adding to the suffering of disabled citizens, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), on the directions of the state government, has decided to provide financial assistance of Rs 2,000 to disabled persons in the city by directly depositing the amount in their account.
The state Women and Child Welfare Ministry had urged all civic bodies in the state to provide financial assistance to the disabled in their jurisdictions to reduce their suffering due to the lockdown.
“The nationwide lockdown had led to loss of employment for many. It has put disabled citizens in financial crisis and their family is facing difficulty managing their daily meals. The civic bodies that spend 5 per cent of their budgetary allocation for disabled citizens through various schemes and projects should not spend the amount on any purchase, and instead deposit the amount directly in the bank account of the disabled citizens,” read a communication by Minister of State Bachchu Kadu.
He also urged civic bodies to provide 50 per cent concession in property taxes and water charges for properties owned by disabled residents. “The proposal for concession of 50 percent in property tax for physically disabled citizens is pending before the state Urban Development department… the proposal for financial assistance has been prepared now,” said a civic officer.
The PMC has estimated disbursement of Rs 1.18 crore for this purpose, based on the data of disabled persons available with the public transport department. The PMC had provided free bus facility to 5,913 disabled citizens in 2019-20.
The civic body is also going to publish advertisements in newspapers, urging eligible citizens with physical disability of 40 per cent to apply for financial assistance by submitting their disability certificate, photocopy of first page of bank pass book and proof of residence in the city.
According to the community development department of PMC, the financial assistance of Rs 2,000 would be in addition to the benefits provided to eligible citizens through various civic schemes.
The PMC had earlier arranged a meeting with some disabled residents of Pune to understand their suffering due to the pandemic, and they had demanded direct transfer of money in their accounts. “Many citizens have suffered due to the lockdown enforced for containing the spread of Covid-19. The persons with physical disability are one of the worst affected due to it and there is a need to provide some support to them..,” said Madhuri Sahastrabudhe, chairperson of the Women and Child Welfare Committee, after approving the civic administration’s proposal in the committee on Tuesday. The proposal would now be tabled in the standing committee and implemented after its approval.
The PMC has been implementing various welfare programmes for the physically disabled in every financial year but the programmes could not be implemented in 2020-21 due to the pandemic, said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar.