Drug addiction a big challenge for north-eastern States, says minister
SHILLONG: Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr Virendra Kumar on Tuesday said that his ministry was all committed to build an inclusive society for the divyangs. He was on a visit to Shillong where he held a meeting with officials of the Department of Social Welfare and other working NGOs.
The minister said that Divyangs were an integral part of human resource. He said that that ministry was working on the vision of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' of Prime Minister Modi and had implemented various welfare schemes for developing an inclusive society and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
Informing about the work done in the last seven years by the Ministry, the Union Minister said that the government was trying every effort to provide greater rights and entitlements to Divyang by envisioning an inclusive and enabling environment. The Union Minister emphasized on skill training programmes for empowerment of Divyangs to bring them to the mainstream of society for overall development of the country and to help them to make self reliant and independent.
Speaking on welfare schemes of the government, Dr Kumar said that under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the Central Government had implemented various welfare schemes in the interest of Divyangs of the country. He applauded the efforts of Prime Minister for empowering the Divyangs and informed the gathering that around 10,000 Divyang camps were organized after 2014 in the country, wherein more than 20 crore Divyangs were given various aids worth Rs. 500 crore.
The Union Minister also informed that his ministry had been working aggressively at the Drug Rehabilitation Centres and old age homes in the country and informed that monitoring and surveillances had been made strict at those centres for proper care and security of the inmates. The Union Minister also made a visit to Kirpa Foundation at Upper Lachumiere, Shillong and spoke to the inmates. Explaining about various schemes run by the Government of India for welfare of Divyang, the Union Minister was all praise for the achievement made during the recent Tokyo 2020 Paralympics held in August-September, 2021 where the Indian Paralympians created history by winning 19 medals, including five Gold, eight Silver and six Bronze. He informed that his government had taken initiatives for special sports training institute for the Divyang at various places in the country, including one at Shillong. The Minister referred to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill - 2016 while speaking of the welfare initiative of the government. The types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21, he added. He said that the government, through this Bill, had increased the reservation for Divyangs from 3 to 4 per cent in Central Government services and 5 per cent in education for them.
Speaking about the menace of the substance abuse, the Union Minister was very categorical when he said that drug addiction affected not only a person or family, but the entire society. While expressing his deep concern, he pointed out that it was a big challenge for the north-eastern States which shared boundaries with other countries, as these routes were frequently issued by drug peddlers for transit of drugs.
While expressing satisfaction that the State governments were making all-out efforts to curb the menace, he called upon the State governments to work more vigorously so that the youth who were affected by this menace could be linked with the NGOs and the schemes of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The minister reaffirmed the commitment of the government to achieve social goals to end drug abuse and strengthen community-centric approaches and outcomes.