Empower the Disabled, demand Activists
An Interview of Rajnish Kumar Arya
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Raipur: Peeved at the manner in which the government is implementing the state policy on disability, activists are demanding setting up a separate ministry for empowerment of persons with disabilities.
Talking to TOI, on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, under the theme of “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development of all” – disability activist Rajneesh Kumar Arya, said the estimated population of persons with disabilities in Chhattisgarh is about 38, 31,779. According to Census 2011 data on disabilities are yet to be published.
Pointing out that education is one of the most effective tools by which children with special needs could achieve social and economic empowerment , he said even after enactment of different laws, like the PWD Act 1995, 12 years of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) and three years of RTE Act, 2010, the situation of education for children with special needs are on margin.
Still about 80 % of rural as well as 50 % of urban part of children with special needs are out of reach of education facilities. Under SSA, Arya Said, Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission has appointed only 177 mobile resource advisors in against of 292. There are 142 blocks in Chhattisgarh. As per MHRD provision, there should be three such MRAs in each and every block from each major disability area like visual impairment, hearing impairment and mental retardation, but in the case of Chhattisgarh it is just two.
Adding that there is no district resource centre in the state, the activist said he felt that there should be some degree courses in state universities, including B. Ed. Special or M. Ed. Special. “It is a matter of surprise that not a single university in Chhattisgarh has included a chapter or paper focusing on disabilities in general education”.
Even SCERT of Chhattisgarh has not contributed much on this, he said. Arya an expert working in the field of disability, rehabilitation claimed that inclusion of barrier free environment for persons with disabilities (PWDs) are on papers and not on ground in the state. He said even the office of commissioner for persons with disabilities; at Durg is not barrier free or disabled friendly.
Source : Times of India, Raipur Print Edition, Page no. 2 dated 4th December, 2013