Shillong(Meghalaya), Aug 30 : Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Government of India in collaboration with Department of Social Welfare and Office of the Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities, Government of Meghalaya organized a two days’ National Seminar on Strategic Plan for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities at State Convention Centre which was inaugurated by Minister, Social Welfare, GoM, Kyrmen Shylla.
Minister, Social Welfare, Kyrmen Shylla while welcoming the officials from different states of the North East said that in Meghalaya there are 44,317 persons with disabilities and 37,566 of them reside in the rural areas. He added that with the legislation passed by the Indian Parliament of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, it is imperative upon the State government to rehabilitate and empower Persons with Disabilities. He said that the theme of the seminar to prepare a strategic plan would help to mobilize support for people with disabilities in the North Eastern region thereby creating an inclusive society.
Additional Chief Secretary, Social Welfare, GoM, Hector Marwein. He said that it was a long felt need to have such a seminar in the region for the empowerment and welfare of Persons with Disabilities. He stated that the Unique Disability Identity Card (UDID) is yet to be issued to persons with disabilities of the State and requested Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to expedite the process so that the beneficiaries will have the UDIDs to avail various schemes and benefits. He also informed that there is a lack of manpower specialists in the State in this sector and urged the Ministry to tie up with the State government to train the available manpower in the State like technicians, Anganwadi and Asha workers etc for training in National Institutes in the country on a sustainable basis.
Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, ,Dolly Chakraborty said that the objective of the seminar is to rehabilitate persons with disabilities and bring everybody under one canvas for inclusive growth and society. She stated that the approach now for the welfare of persons with disabilities is inter ministerial and the legislation passed by the Parliament in 2016 not only gives a legal entity but has opened a lot of challenges and responsibilities both for the Central and the State governments. She added the two days’ deliberation and discussion would primarily focus on Data, Capacity Building, Involving the participation of people working with persons with disabilities and Accessibility while formulating a strategic action plan for rehabilitation of persons with disabilities in the North East.
As per the Census 2011 there are 2.68 crore Persons with Disabilities out of which 733000 are in the North East region. The seminar will focus on five year strategic plan to reach out to every child with disabilities in the region. This is the first of its kind seminar in the North East to finalize action plans in the areas of awareness, intervention, and education including higher education, skill development and employment so that no child is left out. National Institutes under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, are at present aiming at strengthening the NGOs, creating awareness, identifying children with special needs so that they become productive citizens of the country.
Dr A K Sinha, Director, AYJNISHD (D) informed that initiatives such as setting of library (in 60 organizations), distribution of modern equipment and aids and appliances, Cochlear Implant done under ADIP Scheme (*# beneficiaries benefitted), BTE hearing aids, motorized wheel chair, smart cane, laptops, 16 information kiosks (2 in each North Eastern states) as well as various training programmes are in place. Various skill training programmes were also organized by AYJNISHD wherein 6037 PwDs were trained out of which 1723 PwDs are from NE region and 1051 PwDs are placed on job market/self employment.
The participants included Directors of all National Institutes under the Ministry, State Commissioners of PwDs, Directors of Social Welfare Departments, Director of NCERT, Director SERT, Senior officials from Department of Health and NGOs working in the area of rehabilitation in North Eastern States.
Early Identification and Intervention-Use of Modern Methodology for Empowering Persons with Disabilities, Need Assessment of Rehabilitation Facilities for PwDs in North Esatern States, Skill Training Programme vis a vis Employment Opportunities for PwDs The Rights of Persons with disabilities act 2016, its Implications and Challenges, Educational Strategies for PwDs are the themes for the two days’ seminar.