By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, February 12: The Centre has sanctioned a fund of Rs 5 crore for upgradation of the Composite Research Centre (CRC) for persons with disabilities in Assam, Union minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot said here today.
Apart from undertaking centre-based and camp-based rehabilitation related activities, the CRC also functions as a resource centre for persons with disabilities.
Speaking to reporters here, Gehlot said a separate amount of Rs 50 lakh has been earmarked for imparting training to persons with disabilities.
There is also a plan to set up a warehouse in the state to store medical aid and appliances for people with disabilities.
Gehlot’s ministry will hold a year-long mega camp from March next in the region for conducting a survey to identify people with disabilities in the region. Another month-long camp will be from March 20 for distributing hearing aid worth Rs 6 crore to 100 beneficiaries from Assam who are below six years of age.
The Union minister, while addressing the Regiol Conference of State Welfare Ministers of North Eastern States, said, “The Northeast is an integral part of India and the pace of development of the region should be as much as it is in other parts of the country.” He also said that differently-abled people should have their share in the development process at par with other segments of the population.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gaon Yoja, seventy five more SC-domited villages have been selected by the Centre for funding developmental projects. “We are ready to give Rs 15 crore for the project for which we need proposals from the State,” the minister said.
Speaking at the function, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi advocated for social justice to bring differently-abled people to the mainstream of development, and pitched for reducing the level of disability from the existing 40 percent to 20 percent to ensure their reservation in jobs and other social securities.
“We always consider differently-abled people as our assets and not liabilities. We are committed to undertake schemes and policies to ensure their welfare,” the Chief Minister said. He further said that there was a need for setting up a tiol institute for imparting the right kind of education to differently-abled people, and universities and colleges ought to incorporate courses in the curriculum for their development. Gogoi also stated that the corporate sector should be involved in the exercise of empowerment of differently-abled people as part of their corporate social responsibilities, and the government will provide all necessary help in this regard.
Gogoi said that according to a survey by the State government, there are 2.7 lakh persons with disabilities in the State. But the Census report had pegged the figure at 4 lakh. There are 3,800 jobs in the State reserved for this section of people. He also sought rehabilitation centres for them in each district.