Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Schemes for specially-abled almost disabled in JK

abled


Srinagar, Sep 14: The government has failed to implement the programmes for the specially-abled persons, whose number in the state has crossed three lakh.

Many of the centrally sponsored schemes, which offer multiple benefits to the specially- abled persons, have seen poor implementation in the state.

 

National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness, for instance, witnessed zero spending in the state in the last three years.

A document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor revealed that Jammu and Kashmir, which belonging to the High Focus category under the scheme, witnessed no progress under this programme.

In 2015, it stated, no expenditure was recorded on beneficiaries, which followed for another two years.

Similarly, below 50 per cent target has been achieved under National Programme for Control of Blindness in the state during 2017.

Against a target of 82,331, only 27,051 cataract surgeries were done in the state based health institutes during last year.

Free spectacles to school children, another component of this programme saw a dearth of nearly 50 percent in the achievement of the annual target.

Under this component, the state government has distributed spectacles to only 9138 school children against a target of 2000.

Infrastructure-wise, the state government has failed to set up special homes or schools for the blind in the state.

As per the 2011 census, the state has around 68,000 visually impaired people as its citizens, while the population is believed to have risen due to the conflict.

Presently, the valley does not have a single government-owned home or school for the blind people, who consequently have to rely on the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) for every kind of assistance.

“It is a fact that we don’t have blind homes here, but the grant-in-aid is being provided to the beneficiaries through these NGOs. Only those, which qualify norms and guidelines are given a certain amount based on the number of beneficiaries and sort of assistance to them,” Sources in the Social Welfare Department said.

An official in the Social Welfare Department said that the lack of implementation of Disability Act 2016 was the main reason behind the poor performances of these schemes.

“Once the Rights of the person with Disability Act 2016 is implemented completely in the state it automatically will cover all these schemes,” he said.

As per the 2011 census, there are over 3.60 lakh people with disabilities in the state.