20% disabled not able to avail benefits in Chandigarh: Study

disabledA survey conducted by the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, on the occasion of International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Sunday, has found that over 20 per cent of disabled in the city are not able to avail benefits of the central and state government schemes because of not possessing the disability certificate.

The door-to-door survey, conducted under the supervision of Prof BS Chavan, Head of Department of Psychiatry at GMCH, prepared a data bank of all the persons with disability in Chandigarh (6,306) and the data was arranged disability wise, sector wise which included details of degree of disability, age, sex, education, employment status, social support, socio-economic status of parents and social welfare benefits received.

Dr Chavan said that despite city having a state-of-the-art institute to cater to the needs of persons with disabilities, there are no facilities for adult persons with ID as Government Rehabilitation Institute for Intellectual Disabilities (GRIID) provides services up to 25 years.

“There is an urgent need to set-up both recreational and employment opportunities for persons above 25 years,” he added.

The survey also found that a large number of public places are still not accessible, due to physical and psychological barriers. These places include bus stand, railway station, airport, hospitals, post office, community centres, shopping malls, parks, hotels and clubs.

The study suggests that there is a need of social audit of these places in order to make these differently abled friendly.

Also, the products made by persons with disability do not find a suitable buyer and thus remain stocked for visitors. There is a need to improve the quality of these products so that these products can be purchased by government departments as approved source, the report suggests.

As compared to neighbouring states, UT Chandigarh has been more sensitive to the needs of these persons and has initiated many need based facilities and services, said Dr Chavan, adding that lack of awareness among the disabled was the reason why they do not possess the disability certificate.

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