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House panel flays Govt over funds for disabled

delhi Updated: Apr 20, 2010 23:39 IST
Vikas Pathak
Vikas Pathak
Hindustan Times
Standing Committee on Social Justice

A parliamentary panel has expressed concern that the ministry of social justice and empowerment has no provision for educational development of disabled children.

The Standing Committee on Social Justice has asked the ministry to “urgently make some provision under the head educational head of persons with disability”.

The ministry’s outcome budget — stating the purposes for which funds will be released — allocates Rs. 2115 crore for education of SCs, and Rs. 455 crore for education of OBCs. But, allocation for disabled is nil.

“This is despite the fact that education for the disabled requires teacher training, assistive devices, infrastructure, and text books, all costing more,” disability activist Javed Abidi told HT. “Less than 2 per cent disabled children have access to education.”

The panel said the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was a very big umbrella that should include all sections. “(This) cannot give focused attention to the holistic educational requirements of persons with disability. As far as the states are concerned, they have their own resource constraints… Keeping in view… the Right to Education (being) made a fundamental right, it is imperative that the educational needs of persons with disabilities be taken care of,” the report said.