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20% differently-abled in Chandigarh don’t avail govt benefits due to lack of documents: Study

The study, whose latest findings were revealed on Saturday, was carried out to prepare a data bank of all the differently-abled people in Chandigarh.

punjab Updated: Dec 03, 2017 23:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
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It has also been found that public spaces like bus stands, railway station, airport, hospitals, post office, community centres, shopping malls, among others, in Chandigarh are inaccessible to the differently abled owing to physical and psychological barriers. (Shutterstock)

Over 20% of the differently abled persons in Chandigarh are unable to avail benefits extended by the Centre and the Chandigarh administration because they do not possess a disability certificate.

This has been revealed in a three-year long door-to-door survey conducted in the city under the supervision of Professor BS Chavan, head of department of psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector-32. He is also the joint director of Government Rehabilitation Institute for Intellectual Disabilities (GRIID), Chandigarh.

“Lack of awareness among the differently abled is the major reason why they don’t have a disability certificate, despite the fact that the city has state-of-the-art facility to cater to their needs. They are also unable to avail the benefits provided by the Centre and the Chandigarh administration,” Prof Chavan said.

6,306 differently abled in Chandigarh

The study, whose latest findings were revealed on Saturday, was carried out to prepare a data bank of all the differently abled people in the city. It categorises the respondents based on their nature and degree of disability, age, sex, education, employment status, social support, socio-economic status of parents and social welfare benefits received.

The study states that there are no facilities for people who are aged more than 25 years with intellectual disability because the GRIID provides services only up to the age of 25. “There is an urgent need to set up both recreational and employment opportunities for persons above 25 years of age,” Prof Chavan said.

Public spaces inaccessible

It has also been found that public spaces like bus stands, railway station, airport, hospitals, post office, community centres, shopping malls, among others, in the city are inaccessible to the differently abled owing to physical and psychological barriers.

“There is a need to carry out a social audit of these public spaces in order to make then differently abled friendly. More than physical barriers, psychological factors are more instrumental in creating hindrances,” Prof Chavan said.

‘5% reservation in contractual posts’

Meanwhile, he also added that a large number of differently abled people do not get employment because of their limited qualification. “At present, 4% positions of regular Group-D and C staff are reserved for differently abled, but the same is not true for contractual ones. There should be 5% reservation in these posts,” he said.

Talking about GRIID, he said, “It is a state-of-the-art institute for 1,000 children with special needs. Currently, over 450 children with intellectual disability, autism, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities are being trained there.”

First Published: Dec 03, 2017 12:23 IST