Though Dhenkanal district has more than 30,000 physically challenged persons, only 8,857 of them are availing disability pension. Due to lack of funds allotment, the applications of disabled persons remain pending with the State Government.
According to official reports, 13,573 visually challenged, 1,964 hearing impaired and 3,343 mentally challenged persons have been identified by District Medical Board headed by CDMO. Till date, 11,170 physically challenged certificates have been issued.
District unit of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) had identified 3,882 children affected by disability at school level in 2012. The applicants above six years of age are eligible to avail disability pension.
There are two special schools in the district - Jiban Jyoti residential school for mentally and physically challenged and Alok school for blind and deaf. But their capacity is too less to accommodate the increasing population of physically challenged children.
The plight of the special children and facilities provided to them were discussed in presence of Collector Roopa Roshan Sahoo by district level officials on the occasion of World Disability Day here. At the meeting, the Collector announced that laptops will be provided to the disabled persons, especially the visually challenged, soon.
Stipend will also be disbursed to disabled children shortly while three per cent reservation in Government sector has already been made.
“The district administration is taking steps to ensure rights and entitlements of disabled persons as per provisions. We will focus on vocational facility for them to increase their employment scope,” said Sahoo.
SSA District Project Coordinator S Sahoo, CDMO Chita Ranjan Nayak, District Social Welfare Officer and social activists attended the meeting.