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Target to provide DRI loans to 1,200 disabled persons  

District Disability Rehabilitation Officer Rabindra Satpathy said so far 400 applications have been approved and more applications are being received.

Published: 13th September 2019 05:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2019 05:06 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

SAMBALPUR:  The district administration, along with Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department, has set a target to provide DRI loans to 1,200 differently-abled persons by March 2020 to help them start their own ventures and become self-reliant. While the response to the low-interest credit has not been encouraging in the last couple of years, the SSPED department is aggressively trying to promote and cover maximum beneficiaries under its ambit.

District Disability Rehabilitation Officer Rabindra Satpathy said so far 400 applications have been approved and more applications are being received. The applications will be received till December last week, he said. DRI or Differential Rate of Interest Loans are provided to persons with disabilities as capital for starting their own venture. The interest rate of the loan is as low as 4 per cent per annum for men and 3 per cent for women. The period of repayment is 5 years.

Though the amount given under the loan is not much, still many disabled persons have availed it and successfully started their own ventures. The maximum amount of disbursed under DRI loans is Rs 15,000. However, an additional Rs 5,000 may be granted for the differently-abled to buy aid, equipment or appliances.

SSEPD department records show 1,185 persons with disabilities have started their own ventures with the loan. In 2014, only 214 applicants were selected for the credit. In 2015, the number of beneficiaries was 149 and it rose to 768 in 2016. However, in the last two years, the number has come down drastically to 32 in 2017 and 22 in 2018.

The department cites lack of awareness as the reason behind less number of applications. Due to this, from the beginning of 2019, the department has been creating awareness among the differently-abled on the benefits and process of the loan and has set a higher target accordingly. People who have taken DRI loans in the last five years have mostly set up small eateries, tea-stalls, betel shops or grocery stores. 



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