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Maharashtra becomes first state to have Divyang department for differently-abled

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Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde has announced that the state will establish a separate Divyang department for the welfare of differently-abled persons with a fund allocation of Rs 1,143 crore

Mumbai, Dec 05: For the welfare of differently-abled people of Maharashtra, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led state government has set up the first of its kind Divyang department with a fund allocation of Rs 1,143 crore.

While addressing an event in Mumbai on International Day of Disabled Persons which is celebrated on December 03 every year, the chief minister announced the same and said that Maharashtra is the first state to have such a department.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde

"The government has created 2,063 posts for the new department which will formulate policies for the welfare of the disabled by taking into consideration views of the stakeholders," he was quoted as saying by PTI.

The Maharashtra Cabinet approved the decision to set up the Divyang department on November 29.

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MLA Omprakash alias Bacchu Kadu put up the proposal in the regard on November 9 during his meeting with CM Shinde. The CM approved the proposal and assured him that it would be cleared by the state cabinet.

CM Shinde had also directed the administration to find out the exact number of differently-abled population in the state after conducting a door-to-door survey.

MLA Omprakash fought for this for over two decades and exuded confidence that the ministry would go a long way in benefitting a large number of disabled persons. The number of disabled persons is believed to number close to 30 lakh in the state, according to a ToI report.

"Maharashtra will be the first state in India to have a separate ministry for the divyangs. It will have a separate minister, secretary and other officials, who will have the sole job of looking after welfare of differently abled persons and ensuring successful implementation of various government schemes for them," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

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According to the PTI report, the sections looking into issues of Divyang (differently-abled) people under the Social Justice and Special Assistance department will be clubbed to form the new Divyang Welfare Department, the government had said.

The state social justice department took care of the welfare activities of Divyang people like education, training, and rehabilitation so far.

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