Minister for public health engineering, irrigation and flood control Sham Lal Sharma has stressed on the need for more initiatives for the welfare and rehabilitation of physically challenged people, so that they can lead a dignified life.
Speaking at a function organised by the J&K Disabled Welfare Association to mark World Disability Day at Akhnoor on Tuesday, the minister said, "Only government efforts are not adequate to address the issues of disabled people. The entire society has to work for their upliftment. They have equal right to live and progress in the society, and this can be made possible with the support of all sections."
He added that the government had taken several measures for their welfare from time to time, including financial assistance in the form of pension, free education, medical treatment and travel, vocational programmes, and other sops, which are being availed by many.
Asking disabled people to maintain close liaison with the Social Welfare Department to avail the benefits meant for them, he called upon NGOs to extend help.
"Only observing the day once a year will not serve any purpose. The need of the hour is to do something concrete," he said.
Responding to the issues of the disabled in Akhnoor tehsil, the minister issued instructions to officers of various departments to attend to their problems on a priority basis, and directed them to ensure that all welfare schemes were implemented properly.