Panel moots relaxing disability certificate norm when handicap is apparent

A parliamentary standing committee has suggested that the government relax the mandatory norm that disabled persons must furnish a disability certificate, if their handicap is "apparent".

Doing away with the norm where disability is evident will help more people avail the benefits of various government schemes, particularly those living on the streets and in far flung backward areas, the panel noted in its report tabled in Parliament.

"There are a large number of disabled persons on the streets, especially in red light areas and in rural and far-flung regions. These people neither have any certificate of disability nor of income, besides being illiterate," the committee noted.

"Some avenues or possibilities may be explored" for doing away with the requirement of mandatory disability certificate and other documents in cases "which appear apparent/patent," it recommended.

The parliamentary panel also put onus on the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to ensure hassle-free issuance of disability certificates, noting various instances of disabled persons facing problem in getting the certificates in the states.

"The committee is sad to note that due to non-availability of specialists in the designated hospitals or medical authorities in the districts where the disabled persons reside, they have to go to adjoining districts for obtaining a disability certificate," the panel said.

'Streamline process'

Deprecating "such callous attitude and apathy of the officials," the committee recommended that "all out efforts" should be made to streamline the entire process in such a way that there is no harassment
of persons with disability in getting certificates.

While organising camps for distribution of aids and appliances, issue of disability certificates to PwD (persons with disability) should be taken up as a campaign so that benefits of the scheme reach the needy without undue delay," it recommended.

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