BANGALORE: In just three streets of D J Halli, the officials of the Department of Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens have found 46 persons with disabilities.
The officials started a survey to identify people with disabilities in D J Halli, S K Garden and Munishwara Nagar wards on Monday, following a directive from the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC). Speaking to Express, Welfare Officer for the Disabled (Bangalore Urban District) G Mohan said the situation in the three wards is bad and looking at the existing conditions and the poor quality of life, there could be more people with disabilities.
“The KSHRC had asked the department to prepare a detailed list and ensure all the differently-abled get government benefits. We are also mandated to give suggestions and also frame guidelines for the welfare of the differently-abled,” said Mohan.
He also said he would write to BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana about the provision of spending three per cent of the civic body’s budget on the differently-abled.
KSHRC members had visited the area after a child died due to malnutrition last year. Later, various public meetings were held in which government officers, NGOs and volunteers were present.“The issue of drinking water, sewage system and health are primary concerns. The Commission then felt the need to address the issue of the disabled who are deprived of government benefits. Directions were given three months ago and the work has begun now,” KSHRC Member C G Hungund said.
Mohan, his team and the BBMP link workers will conduct a survey of the differently-abled people in the three wards for 15 days. They will then prepare a list and recommend the benefits they should get.
Dr Sylvia Karpagam, a health activist who is camping in D J Halli ever since the malnutrition death was reported, said: “A lot of people in the locality are uneducated and they do not know the complications of marrying among close relatives may cause disability in their offspring. Ambulances cannot reach houses in the area as the roads are very narrow.”
Link workers, who work with the BBMP on government programmes, said they are denied their basic rights. They are now helping in the survey.
The workers complained that their honorarium for April and May has been withheld.
The BBMP has 600 such workers. Each worker is currently paid `3,100 a month.
Additional Commissioner (Health) Yatish Kumar defended the BBMP by saying the delay in distribution of wages is due to delay in file movement.
“The process takes time. There is no intention to withhold the honorarium. We will clear it.” Kumar said.