October 16, 2019 9:15:40 am
ONLY AROUND 28 per cent of persons with disabilities in Punjab are getting financial assistance of Rs 750 per month under the state’s Financial Assistance to Disabled Persons (FADP) scheme. Moreover, till date, only around 84,000 of them have been issued Unique Disability Identity (UDID) cards under a new scheme launched by the Centre. This information was submitted by the state government in the Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday, in relation to a suo motu case pertaining to the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
The department of social security and women and child development, Punjab, in an affidavit told the court that there are around 6.5 lakh “physical handicapped persons” in the state as per the 2011 census. “Under the Financial Assistance to Disabled Persons (FADP) scheme, there are 1,86,028 beneficiaries who are getting the benefit of pension of Rs 750 per month,” read the government’s reply in court, adding a proposal for enhancement of the rate of pension was submitted to the finance department last month and is pending.
The government also informed the court that some 83152 UDID cards had been generated till September 27. A total 50,380 applications had been rejected and 35,363 applications are still pending. The UDID project is a Government of India initiative aimed at allowing all persons with disabilities to “avail schemes and benefits provided by the government”.
The order seeking details regarding monetary benefits being received by persons with disabilities was passed last month by the court after amicus Arjun Sheoran informed the court that the state reply, filed in September, has not even adverted to Section 24 of the Act — the provision requires governments to initiate schemes and programmes for adequate standard of living of differently-abled to enable them to live independently or in the community.
The government also told the court that appointment of a commissioner for persons with disabilities is proposed under Rule 25 of the Punjab State Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2018 and is likely to be notified in 30 days. The rules framed under the Act have been vetted by the law department and have been submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval, the reply further said.
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