Disabled Left in the Lurch over Lack of Data in State

Officials tell students with special abilities that it will take three months to get the devices

Published: 26th December 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th December 2014 06:00 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: Thanks to the slow pace of work at the Department for Disabled and Senior Citizens, the disabled persons in Telangana are unable to obtain several benefits from the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. 

In August, the Union ministry’s ‘Assistance to Disabled Persons’ (ADIP) scheme offered to provide several advanced gadgets to the visually disabled and asked the respective States to submit a proposal along with the list of eligible beneficiaries in order to receive them.

The scheme offered ‘Smart Cane’, a walking stick equipped with a sensor, and ‘Plextalk Vachak’, a digital text reader, in multiple languages, including English and Hindi, for ` 3,000 and ` 12,000 respectively.

However, the Department for Disabled and Senior Citizens, Telangana, had failed to send the proposal reportedly due to lack of data of beneficiaries. Even after almost five months, the needy students and employees are awaiting the devices. States like Maharashtra and Delhi which had  submitted proposals received devices.

Some of the disabled students from city submitted an application to the Department for Disabled and Senior Citizens a month ago asking for the devices. But they were asked to wait for three more months. “The officials told us that it will take three more months to get them,” said Phanija, a PhD student from English and Foreign Languages University, who was one of the applicants.

An official from the department, who did not wish to be quoted, said the scheme requires a fresh list of beneficiaries. But currently, there is no mechanism in the State to identify the population of disabled persons after the bifurcation of the State. Still, the census data by the Centre is the only source to recognise the beneficiaries.

However, representatives from the AP Federation of Blind complained that even State government schemes for the disabled are not being implemented properly in both AP and Telangana. They appealed to the officials to immediately send the proposal to avail themselves of ADIP benefits.

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