Specially-abled people in Rajouri face ordeal in availing social security benefits

Representational pic
Representational pic

Rajouri, Dec 5: Bringing his twenty-two years old son for medical screening to the District Medical Board is a challenge for sixty-year-old Mohammad Sadiq as his son cannot walk due to disability.

The medical disability certificate is a basic formality for applying for the Integrated Social Security Scheme.  He is one among thousands of such people who are these days seen standing in a queue in front of the district medical board office from where they will be issued a disability certificate under a Unique Disability Identity Card (UDID). These beneficiaries have to apply for the Integrated Social Security Scheme under which they will be paid a pension on a monthly basis.

Mohammad Sadiq, a resident of the remote Swari village of Rajouri said that his twenty-two years old son Mohammad Zaman is specially-abled and neither can walk nor talk.

“I am visiting the office of the district medical board often to get UDID of my son and have to carry my son on my shoulders to bring him here for medical screening,” Sadiq said. Terming the heavy rush of beneficiaries outside the board office as the only reason which it is taking him time to get certificates, Sadiq said that the staff at the board office is cooperative and is working hard to provide certificates to beneficiaries.

Sadiq, who eagerly wants UDID for his son, said that the process of issuance of the card for him is in the final stages after which he will heave a sigh of relief.

“The reason for the trouble is heavy rush which needs to be tackled properly for which there should be a specific platform for the issuance of certificates and UDID of specially-abled people,” he said, adding that presently there is a single center to issue disability certificates, aged certificates.

Mohammad Rafi, another specially-abled man, said that he got his UDID from the board office and the only reason had to wait for some time due to the heavy rush of applicants.

He demanded that the authorities should issue  new medical disability certificates at least thrice a week to tackle the rush.

District Social Welfare Officer Rajouri, Vakil Bhat told Greater Kashmir that district administration has taken a number of measures to ensure that an applicant is able to complete all necessary formalities in the shortest possible time.

He said, “ Now the medical board for issuance of medical disability certificates is held twice a week against an earlier schedule of once a week whereas all the block medical officers in the district have been asked to issue age certificates in their areas.”

Vakil Bhat further said that the decision to roll out the  ISSS has been taken to ensure that all the beneficiaries get pensions through proper online mode in a hassle-free manner.   Incharge of the district medical board, Zakir Mirza, told Greater Kashmir, that around fifteen thousand old age and medical disability certificates have been issued by the department so far and the staff is making the best possible efforts to ensure that certificates are issued in the shortest possible time.

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