A grievances redressal fair organised by the District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) under the chairmanship of district and sessions judge Vivek Puri on Monday exposed the apathy of the district administration towards the disabled.
The fair, however, brought relief to two people who were waiting for disability certificates for long.
Harmel Singh, (12), a mentally-disabled boy of Haraj village in Muktsar district, had failed to get the disability certificate despite repeated attempts as posts of the psychiatrists in the civil hospitals in the district were lying vacant for a long time.
Similar was the case of Baljit Singh of Kotli Sanghar village, who despite being declared 100% disabled, did not get the disability certificate as officials in the office concerned kept him waiting on one pretext or the other.
However, Harmel and Baljit got the certificate of disability at the grievances redressal fair.
Claiming that the fair achieved its objective successfully, district and sessions judge Vivek Puri said people are generally not able to avail benefits of government schemes because they are not aware of their legal rights.
The DLSA not only educates people on their legal rights but also makes sure that they are able to avail benefits without any problem. He said more than 1,000 were benefitted at the camp on Monday.
DLSA secretary Daljit Singh Ralhan said the health department examined 100 physically-challenged people and issued disability certificates to them during the camp. Identity cards were also issued to the handicapped so that they can avail bus pass facilities. Besides application for disability pensions were also submitted for the disabled.
At the camp, ICICI Bank opened accounts of 350 pension scheme beneficiaries, whose pension was approved but could not be delivered to them as they had no bank accounts. The beneficiaries would now get pension along with arrears by way of electronic benefit transfer (EBT).
“Applicants were also registered under the Bebe Nanaki Ladli Beti Kalyan scheme. OBC and Andhra Bank opened accounts on the spot of all applicants under the scheme. Problems of BPL card holders were also sorted out on the occasion,” Ralhan said.