THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The lack of a single, focused institution often resulted in the lack of unified programmes for the differently abled, Vice-President Hamid Ansari said here on Monday. He stated disability remained a major policy consideration owing to the increase in non-communicable diseases and the change in age-structure with an increase in life expectancy.
“The allocation and utilisation of funds for persons with special needs, and the social awareness for their integration and care, remains inadequate,” he said, while launching ‘Anuyatra’ (walking together), a comprehensive rights-based lifecycle approach aimed at tackling disabilities, of the state government.
Ansari also said the initiatives taken by Kerala under its ‘Anuyatra’ campaign with over 20 strategic interventions is a laudable effort. “This is a unique initiative,” he said.
Pointing out the manifestation of disability, physical or intellectual varying with social context, he said rehabilitation measures should be targeted according to the needs of those affected with community participation.
He also said a majority of the persons with special needs in the country reside in rural areas where accessibility, availability and utilisation of rehabilitation services and its cost-effectiveness are the major issues to be considered. “Research on disability burden, appropriate intervention strategies and their implementation is still at a nascent stage,’’ Ansari said. He also proclaimed the 23 differently abled children who received special training in magic as brand ambassadors of ‘Anuyatra’.Kerala Governor P Sathasivam termed ‘Anuyatra’ as the state’s unique way of better enabling the differently-abled.
“It conveys our love and strong resolve to help them realise their full potential as individuals. The success of ‘Anuyatra’ will help Kerala script a new model of human development for other states to follow,’’ he said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government was bound to ensure reservations for the differently-abled are strictly implemented. Elaborating on the project, Health Minister K K Shylaja said ‘Anuyatra’ was aimed at tackling disabilities and will help in early detection, intervention, physical training and rehabilitation of the differently-abled.
She said as many as 25 different projects are included in the ‘Anuyatra’ campaign. Establishment of new born screening facilities and special anganwadis, District Early Intervention Centres in all districts, mobile intervention units, awareness creation regarding pre-natal determinants of disabilities, disability education in pre-marital counselling, health insurance are some of the projects coming under ‘Anuyatra’.