In a unique initiative aimed at empowering disabled people, the government is planning to issue a pan-India multipurpose identity card to the about 27 million persons with disability (PwD) in India.
The card, which will be valid across the country, is likely to be launched next year and will help PwDs to easily avail benefits under various government schemes targeting them.
Currently, a disability certificate — issued to persons with over 40% disability — is required for availing government benefits.
But there have been instances where a certificate issued by one state or a government department is not accepted by another. The certificate is reviewed all over again by doctors and only when approved, can the person claim entitlement. “This often results in PwDs being subjected to harassment. The unique card will do away with this anomaly as it will be valid across India,” said a source.
The disability affairs department, under the social justice and empowerment ministry, had last week roped in the National Informatics Centre (NIC), Department of Electronics and Information Technology to prepare a detailed project report for rolling out the ID cards.
“NIC will prepare a centralised database to help identify PwDs by collating data from the census and state governments. They will also design the unique ID and recommend its implementation mechanism,” said an official.
For issuing the ID card, the ministry has proposed to hire implementation agencies in coordination with state governments.
“The agencies would be provided a hand held device to scan the disability certificates, take photographs or collect biometrics of the beneficiary. Once the scanned disability certificate is available, data entry operator can centrally verify and enter the data into the database for issuance of a unique ID card,” the official added.