'3 per cent funds must for disabled'

Speaking to reporters after a progress review meeting on Friday, Rajanna said he had requested all the departments to issue circulars on reserving funds for the disabled.
Persons with visible disabilities need not approach the medical board for a disability certificate. The certificate could now be obtained from a physician at any local primary health centre, he said.

The Union government has given its nod for the proposal to reserve Rs 10 lakh from MPs’ Local Area Development fund for purchase of crutches, callipers and wheelchairs for the disabled.

A proposal will now be submitted to reserve Rs five lakh from the funds at the disposal of legislators, for a similar purpose.

No clear statistics

The Department does not have any clear statistics on the number of disabled people in the State. According to the 2001 figures, the number is 9.44 lakh. Now, a software is being developed to computerise all the available records to keep a count of people who avail benefits. “Chhattisgarh is the only state in the country to keep updated and accurate records with the help of a software. We are now working on a similar software which will be ready in about six months,” Rajanna said.

At present, only about 20 per cent of the disabled population is availing the benefits of welfare schemes. The commissioner said that with proper monitoring and implementation, the benefits could reach 85 per cent in the next five years.

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