Lok Sabha panel wants more disabilities under PWD Act

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New Delhi, Oct 20 (UNI) People suffering from illnesses like thalassaemia, fluorosis, cochlear implant should also be given facilities under the Persons with Disabilities (PWD), Act, 1995, a Lok Sabha panel on the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has recommended.

The PWD law, enacted to help participation of the people with disbilities in various activities of life, was applicable to only disabilities such as blindness, low vision, hearing impaired, leprosy, mental illness and loco-motor disability and others, while there were several more which needed to be included, the House Estimates Committee on the Ministry said in its 18th Report tabled today.

The Committee wanted that other disabilities like thalassaemia, fluorosis, cochlear implant etc should also be coverd by the PWD Act.

It has also recommended that the disabled should be given one National Identity Card which should be used by them for availing various travel concessions instead of carrying several passes for various modes of travel.

Among other things, the Committee took note of the sub-standard quality of modern assistive devices provided to the disabled and strongly recommended that an agency should be appointed to certify the products to maintain the standards.

Besides, it has also called for a review of the procedure for granting disability certificates, saying the existing procedure was very comlicated and time-consuming.

It has noted that there was lack of awareness about disabilities and implementation of the policy relating to the disabled. It wants the Ministry to devise a mechanism to effectively associate Panchayatai Raj institutions, local bodies and involve MPs and MLAs in the process of implementation of the National Policy for the Disabled, 2006.

The Estimates Committee has also expressed deep concern on under utilisation of funds by the Ministry. It has recommnded for ensuring effective planning, implementation and monitoring of projects to make optimum use of allocation received annually.

UNI NAZ SP BD1840

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