Political leaders promise better world for disabled

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New Delhi, Dec 3 (UNI) Leaders cutting across the political spectrum today promised the disabled people to make their lives better.

Programmes were held in many parts of the country to mark the World Disabled Day.

National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People organised a function here at India Gate which was presided over by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to draw the attention of the people towards the issues confronting the disabled people in the country.

Disability organisations, disabled people and school children also participated in various other functions all across the nation.

In one of the events, Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada, President and Chief Executive Officer announced that COL would collaborate with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for disability-related research for conceiving and launching various schemes for the disabled.

In Haryana, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced to provide free travel facility in the state roadways buses to the disabled ex-servicemen.

He said a proposal in this regard was discussed in the 38th meeting of the Rajya Sainik Board held recently.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati also announced several sops for the disabled including government sanction in schools and institutes.

A four-member high-level committee headed by UP Development Advisory Council chairman and Rajya Sabha member Satish Chandra Mishra was also constituted to look into the matter relating to non-implementation of the announcements made by the government on previous occasions.

Ms Mayawati, in a function held at her official residence in Lucknow, announced a hike in the government grant to individual physicially and mentally challenged children enrolled in government schools and institutes from Rs 500 per month to Rs 850 per month.

Besides this, she said an additional Rs two crore has been alloted for the promotional benefit on the marriages of disabled people, while Rs one crore has been sanctioned for the maintenance of schools and workshops for disabled.

The state has also decided to waive Rs 2 per fee taken from disabled for multi-purpose identity card.

Ms Mayawati distributed state-evel awards to the disabled people and those working for them, She said officials, employees and teachers working in the special schools and institutes would be imparted refreshers course in national institutes for which Rs 20 lakh would be earmarked in the budget.

In Bengal, writer Dominique Lapierre and his wife led a street rally of physically handicapped children to create awareness for the underprivileged to mark the day.

The author of ''City of Joy'' trekked some two km on the busy Kolkata-Mumbai highway before reaching the site of a disabled centre named after him. He also laid the foundation stone for construction of the home for disabled children.

In Madhya Pradesh, hundreds of physically and mentally challenged children took out a two km rally on the occasion.

To mark the day in Puducherry, Lt Governor Mukut Mithi said the three per cent reservation for the disabled in employment should be implemented without ''any sense of complacency.'' Mr Mithi called upon the private sector to provide jobs to the physically-challenged as per the Disablities Act.

Listing out the technological developments which would benefit them, the Lt Governor said as majority of them could not have access to technology, the Welfare Department should keep a track of the latest aids and procure them for the disabled.

Presiding over a function in the UT, Chief Minister N Rangasamy said steps would be taken to set up a welfare board for the disabled. He also urged them to start self-employment programmes by availing loan through PIPDIC and Banks.

UNI

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