It happens to be International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Sunday but over 20 percent of disabled in the city are not able to avail benefits of the central and state government because of not possessing the disability certificate, despite city having a state of the art institute to cater to their needs. The findings have come out in a House to House survey conducted in Chandigarh under the supervision of Prof BS Chavan, HOD, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH and Joint Director Government Rehabilitation Institute for Intellectual Disabilities (GRIID).
In order to find out the number of persons with disability in Chandigarh, Prof Chavan got carried out House to House Survey in Chandigarh and prepared a data bank of all the persons with disability in Chandigarh (6306) and data has been arranged disability wise, sector wise which includes details of degree of disability, age, sex, education, employment status, social support, socio-economic status of parents and social welfare benefits received.
While giving the information Dr. Chavan said, there are around 20% persons with disability living in UT who still do not Disability Certificate. Thus, they are not able to get the benefits which are offered by the Central Government and UT Government. He said findings have also revealed, there are no facilities for adult persons with ID as Government Rehabilitation Institute for Intellectual Disabilities (GRIID) provides services up to 25 years. There is an urgent need to set-up both recreational and employment opportunities for persons above 25 years, he added.
As per the findings, Large number of public places are still not accessible, due to physical and psychological barriers. These places include Bus Stand, Railway Station, Airport, Hospitals, Post Office, Community Centres, Shopping Malls, Parks, Hotels and Clubs. There is a need of social audit of these places in order to make these Differently Abled Friendly. More than physical barriers, psychological barriers are more important to create barriers, it has been suggested.
The products made by persons with disability do not find a suitable buyer and thus remain stocked for visitors. There is a need to improve the quality of these products so that these products can be purchased by government departments as approved source, the report suggests.
Dr. Chavan said, large number of persons with disability are capable of working but are not getting an opportunity to get a job due to limited qualification and disability. Majority of group D and group C services are hired through outsource and there is no reservation in these posts. There is an urgent need to have at least 5 % reservation in these jobs. People who are trained and are unemployed can be engaged in a sheltered workshop and can be paid remunerations out of the sale of these products, he suggested.
As compared to neighboring states, UT Chandigarh has been more sensitive to the needs of these persons and has initiated many need based facilities and services, said Dr. Chavan, adding that lack of awareness among the disabled was the reason why they do not possess the disability certificate.
He added, in Chandigarh, GRIID has been set-up as the state of art institute in 8.5 acres of land in sector 31 for 1000 children with special needs. Presently, more than 450 children with intellectual disability, autism, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities are undergoing training at GRIID. This is the largest institute for these children in this part of the country.
GRIID has set-up all the services under one roof and once the family of a child with disability walks into the GRIID, all the facilities till 25 years of age are made available to the family. GRIID has done more than 2000 IQ assessments, issued more than 2200 Disability Certificates, 900 Railway Concessions and conducted more than 40 disability assessment camps in last five years to benefit persons with disability in Chandigarh and neighbouring states which includes Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.