Sunday, 19 February 2017
Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a charitable school based in Noida, has launched a picture-based mobile application to help speech impaired and differently-abled children in learning through augmentative and alternative communication. The app has been named as 'Vaakya' and this has been launched as part of the 18th foundation day celebration of the school. The application is immensely helpful for persons who are speech impaired, affected by autism, cerebral palsy and various other mental and physical conditions, Director of the school, Vandana Sharma told Press Trust of India. She also said that it is an augmentative and alternative communication tool and can also be used during rehabilitation.
According to the product description, Vaakya is a picture based AAC app designed for people with speech impairments. This may be in the case of aphasia, MND/ALS, after a stroke, in case of vocal cord problems or other speech problems. It is also suitable for Individuals affected by autism, cerebral palsy and various other mental and physical conditions. The app is an AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) tool and can also be used to practice during rehabilitation. Even for individuals with such conditions that are unable to read, it works as an effective tool to communicate as it depends on images and audio instead of text.
With the app, a user can create a combination of custom images and audio which are relate-able to an individual user in order to effectively communicate. For educators, therapists and guardian's, multiple users can be created which can contain images and audio customized to relate to each specific individual.
The app has been made available for free download from Feb 16, Vandana Sharma said.
The Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan is run by the Ponty Chadha Foundation and is for the specially-abled children. The school also launched an e-commerce portal that sells products made by special children.
Source : PioneerNews Via PTI , 19th Feb 2017
A loan mela meant for distributing interest-free loans among differently abled people for starting self employment initiatives was held here on Saturday.
Eligible applicants were given Rs. 25,000 loan through cooperative banks under the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) scheme. District Collector Prashant M.Wadnere participated in the mela. P.Janci, District Differently Abled Welfare Officer, was present.
Source : The Hindu , 19th Feb 2017
As per the provision, the owners of sanctioned units had the first right to construct their homes as daily wage labourers up to a period of 90 days.
After lagging behind in constructing homes under Mukhyamantri Gramin BPL Awas Yojana, the rural development department has now relaxed norms to allow third parties to execute work on request from beneficiaries.
As per the provision, the owners of sanctioned units had the first right to construct their homes as daily wage labourers up to a period of 90 days. The payment to them was also linked with MGNREGA funds.
However, it has been observed that construction of more than one lakh homes have been pending. In most cases, the beneficiaries were either old or handicapped to carry out construction work.
“Persons who are 60 years and above, physically challenged and not able to work or monitor the construction work can give it in writing and the construction of their homes will be given to an authorized agency,” said an official.
“The payment in such cases will not go to the accounts of beneficiaries but will be instead transferred to panchayat samitis,” added the official.
A letter has also been issued by additional chief secretary Sudarshan Sethi to the CEO’s of zila parishads. The state government is aiming to complete as many homes as possible before March 2017.
Source : Economic Times , 16th Feb 2017
In recent times, the central and state governments of India started to provide various welfare schemes and plans for the handicapped people who are about to be called as Physically challenged people. In order to boost their confidence level and to provide necessary help for those people to make them to live normal life several welfare schemes are introduced by both central and as well as the state government.
Recently, the state government of Kerala hinted about launching special scheme for the physically challenged people in the state. The scheme will be the useful for those people to live their life just like the ordinary people does.
Special scheme Announced in Kerala state
Few days ago, the state government of Kerala announced that it’s going to introduce a new scheme which will improve living standards of the state physically challenged people. This new scheme will be implemented along with the involvement of the state employment department. The scheme is about to provide various training and skill development activities by which the beneficiaries would able to learn and improve their strengths and with their strengths they can find relevant jobs.
Also the scheme is mainly focused on providing suitable employment opportunity to those physically challenged people of the Kerala state. The scheme, which going to hit the floor in near future along with the involvement of state employment department, is about to teach the beneficiaries of the hot skills and necessary trainings in such a way to grab the available jobs opportunities for physically challenged peoples.
Key Points about the upcoming new scheme for physically challenged people in Kerala
- As per the data released by the state government officials the upcoming special scheme for the physically challenged people will be beneficial for around 80K peoples of the Kerala state.
- Under this upcoming scheme, the respective governance body will provide efficient guidance and training to the rightful beneficiaries of the scheme. The guidance would be focused in such a way that it should develop their skills which are required to grab the jobs in the society.
- In addition to those training and career guidance, the scheme will assistance disabled people who are interested in taking competitive exams. For such people, appropriate coaching will be provided under the professional guidance.
- For people who are interested in starting their own businesses will be offered rightful assistance by the state government of the Kerala in such a way that they can be easily step in to the startups.
- In this new scheme, the rightful candidature will be chosen to appropriate training from the physically challenged people based on their skills, Interest, educational qualification and any other experiences which they posses.
- The state government along with the employment department will provide enough financial assistance to the physically challenged people to start the entrepreneurship, by training them with sufficient soft skills and industrial training program.
The announcement about this new scheme came from the state governor P. Sathasivam while addressing at the other welfare scheme press meet, during his speech he added that the state government will do all the necessary things for the disabled people to get shine in their career.
Source : PM Awas Yojna , 16th Feb 2017
On Tuesday, a 15-year-old physically and mentally challenged girl was raped by her neighbour at Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri district,
On Wednesday, the police said that Kalipada Nandi(61 yrs old) allegedly raped the girl on Tuesday. He raped her when she was alone at home. He took the benefits of her handicapped. He easily raped her in the absence of her parents. When the girl informed her parents about it, her father lodged.
Source : Dekh News, 18th Feb 2017
During peak hours, the handicapped coach is more often than not occupied by the able-bodied looking to avoid crowds.
On a regular day, the CR authorities catch around 40 commuters travelling in the handicap compartment. When special drives are conducted, the number goes up to as many as 70 people.
Source : Mid Day , 15th Feb 2017
Sunday, 12 February 2017
India successfully defended their title in the T20 Blind World Cup on Sunday at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore by beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final by nine wickets. Incidentally, in the previous and only edition of the T20 World Cup for the visually impaired, Pakistan had been on the losing end then too.
However, on the day that mattered, Pakistan batted first and put together 197/9 on the scoreboard with Badar Munir scoring 57 from 37 balls hitting eight fours and one six during the way. He enjoyed support from Muhammad Jamil, who scored 24 from 15 balls with the duo putting together 58 runs.
The hosts lost Reddy for 43 when he tried to go for a run but was caught short by Israr Hassan. Up next for India was Ketan Patel who, unfortunately, retired hurt at 26. Dunna Venkatesh walked into the middle and gave Jayaramaiah good company. India crossed the line win in the 18th over in spectacular fashion – with a boundary. Jayaramaiah missed out on the century by just one run as he remained unbeaten on 99 when the winning runs were hit.
Source : Indian Express , 12th Feb 2017
The State Human Rights Commission has ‘admitted’ a petition filed by an NGO seeking adherence to the various orders by the authorities regarding reservation of seats for the women as well as handicapped persons in every public transport vehicle.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing next week, chairman of ‘Centre for Peace and Protection of Human Rights’ M.M. Shuja, who has filed it, told Kashmir Reader.
“There are various standing orders issued by the competent authorities especially by Regional Transport Officers of Jammu as well as Kashmir, specifying quota of seats for ladies and physically disabled person in every public transport vehicle,” he said.
However, Shuja said, neither such quota is reserved nor any specific mark is displayed on the reserved seats for ladies and physically disabled persons both in State Road Transport buses and other private transport vehicles.
“It has also been observed that in overcrowded public transport vehicles ladies and even disabled persons keep standing with the result the dignity of women and respect for disabled gets compromised,” he said. “Unscrupulous elements standing in such buses even indulge in indecent acts and gestures,” he said.
huja has also sought compliance of the government orders for concession in fare to student community as also directions from the commission to the drivers of public transport to wear uniform during driving.
Source : Kashmeer Reader , 4th Feb 2017
Saturday, 7 January 2017
As Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi announced the election dates for the upcoming assembly polls in five states on Wednesday, he categorically stressed on the need to make voting process women, disabled and ecologically friendly. The elections for the five states - Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand - will begin on February 4. Counting of the votes will take place on March 11.
At the very beginning of a press meet to announce the election dates, the CEC said all women-managed polling stations would be set up. However, he did not mention about the numbers of such 'special' booths to come up during the elections.
Addressing the need of the physically-challenged voters, who often face great difficulties while casting their votes, Zaidi said assembly elections will to be persons with disabilities friendly. The CEC said the polling station-wise mapping of persons with disabilities was being done.
This time, the elections are likely to become noise-free too, if EC's guidelines are strictly-followed by the political parties, which generally is not the case. "Sound pollution is a concern, there will be no use of loudspeakers after 10pm. Police and electoral officers will ensure clampdown on it," said Zaidi. He added that EC discourages the use of environmentally hazardous material in assembly elections campaigns.
Source : One India , 4th Jan 2017
At a time when the country's lawmakers are favouring equal representation of persons with disability, a high court judgment will boost the morale of students facing similar predicament. The court found Delhi University's admission criteria for such candidates "unsustainable", directing the University to grant admission to a physically challenged Phd candidate, who had secured 63 marks.
Justice V Kameswar Rao directed the university to grant admission to the petitioner under the persons with disabilities (PwD) category in the PhD programme of Department of Buddhist Studies. "In the given facts, the petitioner is entitled to cost, which is quantified at Rs 10,000 to be paid by the respondents," the court ruled.
The candidate, suffering from 77% disability in his lower limbs, appeared for a written entrance exam on July 12. Following the test, 47 students qualified, out of which 17 belonged in the general category, 9 in other backward castes, 16 in scheduled castes and 4 in the scheduled tribes category. The petitioner claimed he was the only one to qualify in the written exam in the PWD category.
A final list of qualified candidates after the round of interview was out on August 30 in which 20 candidates had been offered admission. Much to his disappointment, the disabled candidate was denied admission under the PwD category. Several of his representation to the authorities concerned fell on deaf ears, driving him to move the Delhi HC.
The bifurcation of marks for the category under which the petitioner appeared was 100 for the entrance exam and 50 for the interview. The interview was assessed on topic representation (25 marks) and a 25-marks interview. The university claimed that though the petitioner secured 61 marks in the entrance exam, he could score only 2 marks in the interview. In order to qualify for a seat, the university said candidates under the PWD category required 70 marks.
The petitioner had drawn a parallel with another candidate who had scored similar marks in the interview. Another candidate, the petitioner pointed out, had scored 63 marks in the written exam but was granted admission in the general category.
After looking at the selection committee's minutes, the court pointed that the cut-off marks were prescribed after the interviews were held. The court reasoned that there were other students who have scored 63 marks in the written exam and given admission in the general category.
Source : TOI , 4th Jan 2017
The battery-operated kiosk, Sunny Splendor, is a boon to persons with disabilities.
Three years ago, Umesh, a lorry driver, lost his legs in a road accident. To make ends meet, he decided to sell tea on a two-wheeler, but the new venture threw up many challenges.
“I want to start a cosmetics and beverages business and my target audience comprises those working in tech parks. With this vehicle, I can commute to different tech parks," said Basheer Ahmed, who is affected by polio. For Mahesh, who has been repairing mobile phones from home, the vehicle will help him broaden his customer base. “I want to run the business outside a government office. I am also planning to buy a typewriter, so I can help officials in their work”.
Four kiosks in Bengaluru
According to the Census 2011, there are 2.68 crores (2.21%) persons with disabilities in India, though according to some estimates, the actual number may be as high as five per cent of our population. However, there has been a paradigm shift in the approach towards the persons with disabilities (PWDs) during last some years. The government’s focus now is on rights based economic empowerment of PWDs as we observe the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on 3rd of December this year.
In India the first step in moving towards rights based economic empowerment was taken when Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995 came into being. The second was India’s ratification of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (U.N.C.R.P.D.) now a new bill introduced in Rajya Sabha that has provisions for accelerating this process, awaits nod from the Parliament.
Now all eyes are on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill which will replace the 1995 Act. The provisions in the Bill fulfil a number of demands of the Disabled Rights Groups and Activists who have been pressing for its early passage in the parliament.
Some of the significant provisions of the Bill include, making accessibility a mandatory requirement under the law, number of beneficiary categories proposed to be increased from 7 to 19, entitlement of some benefits to persons with at least 40% of a disability .It also provides disabled friendly access to all public buildings, hospitals, modes of transport, polling stations, etc. Significantly it also stipulates, violation of any provision of the Act be made punishable under the law.
Apart from the proposed legislation, government has taken several measures towards empowerment of the persons living with disabilities.
The campaign was launched almost a year back on the 15th of December. A flagship programme of the government, it is aimed at achieving universal accessibility of persons with disabilities and to create an enabling and barrier free environment. It is focussed on three objectives, accessibility of built up environment, transport system accessibility and accessibility of knowledge and ICT ecosystem. According to Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, audit of 1092 buildings out of 1098 across 31 cities has already been completed in order to convert them into fully accessible buildings. .
In August this year, the government launched ‘Sugamaya Pustakalay’ an online platform where a person with disabilities can access books in the library at a click of a button. He can read the publications on any device of his choice mobile phones, tablets, computers, DAISY player or even in braille using refreshable braille displays. He can also request for a braille copy through member organizations that have braille presses.
The Secretary General of World Blind Union and President of All India confederation of the Blind, Mr A.K Mittal is of the view that situation with regard to availability of basic writing material and mobility aides like canes for the visually challenged has improved significantly. Appreciating the government initiative with regard to liberal grants related to production of books in Braille, he told this author that if the scheme for modernization and setting up of new Braille presses is implemented properly this will increase and ease the production of books.
The government proposes to roll out a web-based unique disability identification (UDID) card. The initiative will help in a big way in ensuring the authenticity of disability certificates and eliminate the hassle of having to carry certificates for different purposes, as various details, including the type of disability, would be made available online.
The government has also initiated scheme for pre matric, (46000 slots) post matric (16650 slots) and the students seeking top class education (100 slots).
A National Action Plan for Skill Training of Persons with Disabilities was launched last year. The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in collaboration with NSDC, proposes to set an ambitious target of skilling 5 lakh persons with disability in next 3 years (1 lakh in first year, 1.5 lakh in second year and 2.5 lakh in third year). The Action plan is aimed at skilling 25 lakh persons with disabilities by end 2022.
The Department organizes Camps to distribute aides and appliances to the persons with disabilities (Divyangjans). Prime Minister Narendra Modi distributed Aids and Assistive Devices to more than 11000 Divyangjans at one such camp in held September in Gujarat. Similar Camps have been organized across the country to meet the needs of Divyangjans residing in remote areas.
More than a decade after the first law on persons with disabilities came into effect, despite special recruitment drives from time to time, by government’s own admission only a little over one per cent of the vacancies could be filled against three per cent reservation in jobs in government. Over 14,000 identified vacancies remain to be filled. The backlog for the visually challenged is about ten thousand. A report by the International Labour Organization in 2011 said that over 73% of the disabled in India are still outside the labour force and those with mental disability, disabled women and those in rural areas are the most neglected.
More than half of the children with disabilities are out of school despite the fact that the government has taken a number of steps to encourage these children to be admitted to schools. Activists hope that if the Right to Education is implemented in letter and spirit, this situation is likely to improve considerably.
Activists also plead for enhanced research and development with regard to aids and appliances for the PWDs to ensure that their accessibility to various facilities is made easy.
With the fast-tracking of several schemes and programmes which have been initiated during last two years, the objective of creating an inclusive and equitable world could become a reality.
Source : The Echoe of India , 7th Jan 2017