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Development of Barak valley is our priority: Sonowal

FROM OUR Correspondent

Silchar, Feb 27: A mega camp for free distribution of  aids and assistive devices to differently ebled persons (DIVYANGJAN) has been organized under the Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) scheme of Government of India by the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (AMLICO), Kanpur, working under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Person with Disability (DIVYANGJAN), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare, and the District Administration at Town Club Ground here today.

 Addressing the huge gathering as the chief-guest on the occasion, Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal said, “My sole aim is to develop and direct Barak Valley into the channel of development. Prime Minister rendra Modi’s noble initiatives, schemes, plans and programmes are celestial in the sense that they are always aimed for an overall development for the people belonging right at the lowest rung of the society to the highest. From next year, each differently abled person will get Rs.1000 per month.” Regarding the development and construction of roads in Barak Valley, he said, “Till date, I have given Rs.2000 crores for the development of road. I will eager to help the people of the valley.”

Sonowal further said that the people of the valley should keep an eagle’s eye on the money that is being sanctioned for the development so that corruption and pilferaging can be nipped at the bud. “I also assure you that I will work for the development of both the districts of Karimganj and Hailakandi. I look and treat both Brahmaputra Valley and Barak Valley as one and equal,” Sonowal added. He also handed over an ex gratia cheque of Rs.4 lakh to Shivcharan Das who lost his wife late Mamta Das to the massive fire that broke out at Chengcoorie Road last Saturday.

 A total of 916 pre identified beneficiaries with different kind of disabilities was provided with 1836 number of aids and assistive devices manufactured and distributed by AMLICO valuing over Rs.65 lakh under the ADIP scheme of the Government of India. Modern contemporary aids and assistive devices were also distributed in the camp which included 9 daisy players, 87 smart canes and 34 smart phones for visually impaired and 2 ADL kits for persons affected from Leprosy. Among other various aids and assistive devices provided in the camp were 302 tricycles, 138 wheelchairs, 714 crutches axilla, 141 walking sticks, 75 rollators for orthopedically impaired persons, 15 Braille kits, 224 behind the ear digital hearing aid machines, 41 CP chairs and 33 Multi Sensory Inclusive Educatiol Kit (MSIED) kits.

 Union Minister, Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot, (MOSJE) who also presided over the noble programme said, “Till date, we have organized 4720 camps in which 6 lakh differently abled persons have been benefitted. Under the aegis of Prime Minister rendra Modi, Rs.4000 crores have been spent for providing facilities and fulfilling their basic needs. The Cochlear implant which is needed for deaf and mute babies have been provided for more than 500 babies across the country and 80 in NE region.”

 Thaawarchand Gehlot said, “We have registered ourselves by proving Cochlear implants to 3911 babies in just 8 hours at Imphal in Manipur on November 5, 2016 and surpassed the previous record of Australia in which 3000 babies were provided Cochlear implant in 8 hours. On the birthday anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar, the founding father of our Constitution, a new Act will come into being which will provide reservation to 4% instead of the previous 3%. We have also thought of providing free and compulsory education and scholarships to these special children. Physically handicapped persons will be provided with insurance amounting to Rs.2 lakhs. They will just have to pay Rs.3500 per month out of which 90% will be borne by the Ministry. This insurance scheme has already benefitted 2500 persons. In addition to this, 4 persons related to the policy holder will also be covered under the insurance scheme.”

Krishanpal Gurjar, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, said, “I will focus just on the new plans and schemes which will prove beneficial to these special persons. Each differently abled person will be issued a universal identity card so that they do not face problem when they move to other states. Buses, bus stands, trains, railways, government buildings and toilets will be made in a user-friendly mode for such special persons.”

Gurjar also stated that 14 new categories have been added to the already existing 7 categories of physically disabilities. “Rs.6 lakh will be provided for babies upto 5 years of age for Cochlear implants. Till date, we have achieved 100% success rate at this. We have been toiling hard for the last 2.5 years and the result can be seen very easily,” he added to say. MP Sushmita Dev requested for increasing the pension for differently abled persons from Rs.300. Among others who graced the occasion included MLA Dilip Kumar Paul, Deputy Speaker, Assam Assembly, PWD Minister Parimal Suklabaidya and former Union Minister Kabindra Purkayastha.