Disabled residents are a harried lot due to the ignorance of the health department. There is no availability of the forms required to obtain disability certificates at the civil surgeon's office due to which disabled persons had to face a lot of difficulties.
On the other hand, agents and shopkeepers are taking advantage and minting money by selling these forms at `12-15 per form.
As many of these patients are not well-educated, these agents also charge money (`20 per form) for filling the forms.
Every Thursday, disabled persons visit civil surgeon's office in large numbers from various parts of the district. Majority of them who could not even stand are forced to here and there to find a place from where they could get the forms, as no information has been displayed regarding the availability of forms at the office.
Earlier, an NGO used to provide the forms free of cost at the civil surgeon's office around two years back.
According to the sources, new stationary is not available at the office due to which forms are not being provided.
Kesar Singh, brother of a disabled person failed to submit his form for obtaining the disability certificate due to non-availability of forms on Thursday. He said, "I along with my brother (whose arm was amputated) had come from Raikot, but the forms were not available here, and I was told to get the forms from outside."
"But when I went to an agent, all forms were sold out. Now, we will have to come next week again to submit the form," he said.
A student, Manjeet Singh, who could not stand due to disability of both legs, had come with his father from Payal, which is 35 kms from Ludhiana. They were told to get forms from outside the office.
Manjeet's father Sucha Singh then went to a photo studio, which was around 200 metres away from the civil surgeon's office to get the forms as Manjeet could not walk.
"I want that the health department should start issuing the disability certificates at sub-divisional hospitals and community health centres in other parts of the district, so that they don't have to suffer.
They should also take steps to provide forms at the civil surgeon's office itself," Manjeet Singh.
When contacted, civil surgeon Dr Subhash Batta said the forms were available on the website of health and family welfare department, but not at the office.
On being asked that forms were not available at the office, State director of health and family welfare department, Dr Karanjit Singh, said, "We will look into the matter and take required steps."