MANGALORE: The Office of State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities describes it as a “truth file”. For, the ‘tell-all’ 20-page document, being drafted by State Commissioner for persons with Disabilities K V Rajanna, makes damning revelations on how the Department of Women and Child Development and Department for Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens have been violating rights of differently abled people in the state.
Sources in the Office of State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities told Express that acute shortage of staff had forced the commissioner to depend on these two departments for logistical support. “The 20-page document is an expression of sheer disgust over the attitude of these departments,” sources said. The document reveals how the departments lack vision and how they are themselves stumbling blocks to social and medical rehabilitation of the differently abled.
For instance, funds to the tune of Rs 200 to Rs 300 crore earmarked for welfare of the handicapped were lying unutilised in separate accounts in as many as 16 districts. Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) is also accused of not utilising funds to the tune of `1 crore lying in a separate account. “The document ends on how empowerment of differently abled in the state appears to be bleak at the hands of these departments,” sources said. The mindset of these departments remains apathetic to the rights of differently abled even after many rounds of discussions with Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Prasanna Kumar Pincha during the latter’s visit to Bangalore recently.
The document has insisted on a separate wing for facilitating welfare of the disabled. Though Rajanna, during his interaction with the Media in Mangalore in November, had demanded for a separate ministry and secretariat for the welfare of disabled citizens, the document had demanded for a secretariat.
Rajanna who is travelling in Mysore could not be contacted. However, sources said that the Commissioner who would be returning to Bangalore on Saturday is likely to submit the 20-page document to Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, chief secretary, heads of other departments and social pressure groups in state next week.