The 'Software for Assessment of Disability, Maharashtra' (SADM) issues a unique identification number to do away with the problem of bogus disability certificates. It became operational recently in 42 civil and government medical college hospitals across the state.
Disability certificates are meant for availing benefits related to employment, education or various government schemes extended towards benefiting people with disabilities. The certificate acts as a proof of disability of an individual and is an important tool that helps him/her avail benefits, facilities, rights that he/she is entitled to from the state and union governments.
The certification system aims to eliminate malpractices such as generation of bogus disability certificates which deprives benefits to those with real disabilities. The software also allows scientific assessment of disabilities with a similar system activated in Andhra Pradesh. It creates a web-enabled system for comprehensive access, rehabilitation and empowerment through automation, capacity building, assessment of disabled persons and maintaining a decision support system.
The Sassoon and Aundh civil hospitals in the city are the only two in the district that generate certificates using the new software.
D G Kulkarni, medical superintendent of the Sassoon hospital, said, "The software ensures that there is no duplication of certificates and is a viable solution to the problem of bogus certificates. Earlier, such certificates would be made manually. The new system has made the process computerized and users can use an online portal to fill in their details. Once the details of a person with disability are put in the system, the software automatically calculates the percentage of disability. This removes manual errors."
Kulkarni added that the software developed in the state categorizes disabilities into five types, which includes visual impairment, hearing impairment, loco motor or physical disability, mental retardation and mental illness. "This system is quick as compared to manually generating such certificates. We have been issuing 20-30 certificates on a daily basis. The process takes about 20-25 minutes in case of those who provide us with their Aadhaar card numbers," said Kulkarni.
An official from the disability commissionerate had earlier told TOI that the software will help authorities put all the data pertaining to persons with disability online. He had said that the system will have a solution to bogus disability certificates as people would earlier make more than one disability certificate or duplicate certificates to avail of the facilities. "All ineligible persons enjoying benefits will now be weeded out and only the actual beneficiaries will enjoy the benefits," he said.
In district hospitals or medical colleges, a medical board comprising three doctors including a specialist from the medical department issue the disability certificate in case of 40% disability.
Source : TOI , Pune , 31st March 2013