Most of the government departments lack constructed ramps for disabled persons in Fatehgarh Sahib district.
Not only government buildings, but parks, hospitals, shopping centres, schools and colleges also do not have ramps to allow easier access for the physically challenged
Those on wheelchairs cannot reach upstairs on their own. The list of such unfriendly buildings also includes police stations and hotels. Moreover, at most of the public places, there are no reserved parking areas for the disabled persons.
"There are hardly any toilets in public places for disabled people. Most of the ATMs are also located up a flight of five to six stairs. These cause enough inconvenience to us,"said a physically challenged person.
Surjit, who has a polio-stricken brother, says, "Most of the decisions are taken without considering the disabled. There is no system to deal with the problems being faced by the disabled."
Alleging that some people had managed to get jobs under the quota for the disabled by furnishing fake disability certificates, he demanded that a probe should be ordered into the matter.
"Persons who actually deserve, are not getting jobs and influential people, posing to be deaf and dumb, have been able to get jobs,"he said.
Lamenting government apathy in the implementation of the Disability Act, Manmohan Jargar of Bassi Pathana, a senior office-bearer of an NGO for disabled persons, said, "Despite repeated representations by disabled to the government, their demands have still not been met. Despite the Disability Act, there are hardly any facilities being extended to the disabled,"rued Jargar.
A large number of physically challenged yet competent people are still waiting to be recruited in spite of their reserved seats in government jobs.
Jai Krishen, a retired government officer said, "The hostile attitude of families often deters the disabled from taking part in society. The number of disabled in the state is bound to rise in the district as age-related disabilities and road accidents are on the rise. The state needs to be attuned to the needs of the disabled to provide them quality life comparable to able-bodied citizens."
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