Itanagar, June 7: Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot today assured Arunachal Pradesh all possible help from his Ministry for welfare of the differently abled persons in the state.
While responding to Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s requests during the Samajik Adhikarita Shivir, a free-of-cost distribution of aids and assistive devices camp for people with disabilities at the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Center here, the Minister said, “Submit the proposals and I assure approval within a month,” he announced.
He requested the state government to immediately appoint an independent state Commissioner for persons with disabilities so that schemes and funds can flow from the center seamlessly. At present the Commissioner of Social Justice, Empowerment and Tribal Affairs (SJETA) holds the additional charge of Commissioner of persons with disabilities.
Talking about the Cochlear implant and the assistance provided by his ministry, Gehlot informed that till date, 1220 children below the age of six, including one from Arunachal Pradesh, have been provided with the free implant free that costs about Rs 6 lakhs each. He appealed the people to write to the ministry with proper address and details if they have or know of any child below 6 who can’t hear and speak and assured the government will immediately provide the assistance. The union minister expressed satisfaction over the camp being held in Arunachal Pradesh wherein 957 persons with disabilities, including senior citizens, have been provided with aids and assistive devices amounting to Rs 67.37 lakhs free of cost. He informed that in the last five years, the Ministry has organized 7150 such camps benefitting 11 lakh persons and costing Rs 620 crores.
Khandu in his deliberation called for assistance from the Ministry to help the state to declare Papum-Pare, the district with the highest population, as disability-free by December 2018. Khandu said that the state government would like to take up on mission mode to make the entire state disability-free starting with Papum Pare as a pilot project.