New disability law on the cards sans a survey

Disability survey is a general survey that provides detailed and nuanced information about how people with and without disabilities conduct their lives and the difficulties they encounter, regardless of any underlying health condition or impairment.

SHAFAQ SHAH
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 14 2018 12:10AM | Updated Date: Dec 14 2018 12:10AM
New disability law on the cards sans a surveyRepresentational pic

Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to implement a new disability law without even determining the exact population of persons with disabilities and the problems the marginalsed community faces. 

A disability survey needs to be conducted before an effective law could be formulated. 

Disability survey is a general survey that provides detailed and nuanced information about how people with and without disabilities conduct their lives and the difficulties they encounter, regardless of any underlying health condition or impairment.

With no figures to establish the number of people living with disability, the government is relying on the 2011 census figures which say that J&K has the highest number of disabled population among all state of India. 

Until now, the social welfare department has not conducted any base-line survey to determine the population of persons with disabilities. 

“Every day the population of disable people is growing. After the uprising of 2016, the number of disable has jumped, and they must not be even aware of the schemes meant for the disabled people,” said an official at Social Welfare Department.

“So there is a dire need of conducting a survey so that we have the exact figures.” 

According to the last census report, around 3.60 Lakh people, nearly three percent of the state’s population, is with some disability, 2.8 Lakh are visually impaired, 0.38 Lakh are physically challenged, 0.17 Lakh have speech disability and 0.13 have hearing impairment.

Recently, the Governor’s administration cleared the Jammu and Kashmir Rights of Persons with Disabilities bill 2018. 

The new proposed law, apart from identifying the range of disabilities proposes free education for children with benchmark disabilities as well as measures for effective participation of specially-abled persons in sporting activities.

Javaid Ahmad Tak, Chairperson Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline, who survived a bullet in his spine that made him wheel chair bound, said, “there is no base-line survey done to know the exact figures of the disabled people.”

“On September 26, a meeting was conducted by Governor with former social welfare minister (Sajad Lone) and commissioner disability, and they were asked to get the survey done so that the disabled people would be provided the benefits.”

Tak, who also participated in the meeting said the government afterwards promised to get the survey done from Anganwardi workers within 15 days.

“But no survey was conducted.”

Former Social Welfare Minister, Sajad Lone said the ‘disabled’ people are a forgotten community across the country.

“Some initiatives have been taken in a decade or so to try and bring specially-abled people at par, but there is still a lot of scope for development. As far as the survey is concerned, they should hand it over to Sarpanchs.”

Lone said he doubted if a proper survey would be carried out.

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