GUWAHATI: The Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday called for change of mindset amongst people towards the differently abled and providing them a life of dignity while ceremonially launching the Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Achoni in the presence of Governor of Assam Professor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in a programme organised by Social Welfare Department, coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.
As part of the launching ceremony, the Vice President presented cheques of Rs 5000 to seven differently abled people of the state as one-time assistance for their medical treatment. The scheme will cover around 4.5 lakh divyangjans of the state and an amount of Rs. 250 crore has been allocated in the state budget. In the first phase of implementation, one lakh identified beneficiaries would receive the financial assistance.
Speaking on the occasion, the Vice President said, “Divyangjans don’t want sympathy, they want empathy. They want themselves to be owned as part of the society and family and not to be treated as burden. It is our bounden and sacred duty to provide them a respectable life. There is a need for change of mindset amongst the public representatives and the people towards the divyangjans”.
Further saying that mere legislation would not guarantee an equal and dignified life to the differently abled, Naidu urged the society to work for creating a society free from stigma and discrimination towards them. “It isn’t a Bill, but political will and administrative skill, which is required for the welfare of the divyangjans. Duty of the entire society and humanity is to identify their problems and appreciate their abilities and help them for their development”.
Saying that 2.21 percent of India’s population and 15 percent of world population are physically challenged, Naidu also urged the people to take a pledge to provide them a life of dignity. He also called upon the banks to accord priority in providing liberal loans to the dibyangjans.
He lauded Assam government’s Assam Employees PRONAM Act, which makes it mandatory for all government employees to contribute 10 percent of their salary to take care of their parents and differently abled siblings and urged other state governments of the country to emulate the same.
Naidu advised the state government for online identification of the differently abled people and transfer of financial assistance of government schemes to them. He also asked the government to implement the Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Achoni in true letter and spirit.
Governor Professor Jagdish , also underlined state government’s initiatives for the divyangjans like ‘Project reach Out and Respond’, where the Social Welfare and Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Assam in association with Mahavir Viklangata Sahayata Samiti, Jaipur is providing aides to the differently abled people under the aegis of the Gauhati High Court. The Governor also hoped that the new legislation ‘Assam Employees PRONAM Act’ would guarantee security and dignified life to the old parents and the divyangjans.