Maharashtra will become the first state to have a separate government ministry for the Divyang, or the differently-abled. The ministry , which will be dedicated to the care of people with disabilities, will be allocated a budget of ₹1,143 crores and will help the differently-abled directly.
Shinde made the announcement on Saturday in the presence of the Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, M.P. Lodha, and the Chief Secretary and Secretary of the Department of Social Justice and Special Assistance, Relief, and Rehabilitation. He was speaking at an event held in Mumbai to commemorate the International Day of Disabled Persons.
Planning Welfare Policies For Disabled
The Divyang department will be housed in an ancient Mumbai University building close to the historic and well-connected Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. The minister who will lead the department will be chosen at the forthcoming Winter Assembly session, reported The Hindu. "The government has created 2,063 posts for the new department which will formulate policies for the welfare of the disabled by taking into consideration views of the stakeholders," he said.
The government had announced that the parts of the Social Justice and Special Assistance department that dealt with Divyang people's affairs would be merged to establish the new Divyang Welfare Department. The state social justice department has, until this point, handled the education, training, and rehabilitation needs of the Divyang people.
MLA Advocated For Department For 20 Years
Omprakash Babarao Kadu, commonly known as Bacchu Kadu, is a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Achalpur in Amravati; he has been advocating for a distinct Ministry for the differently-abled for the past twenty years. "There are about 2.5 crore disabled individuals in Maharashtra, and a separate ministry to assist them with health, employment, education, travel accommodations, scholarships, and rehabilitation is long due", he expressed.
Several efforts have been made to carry out door-to-door surveys to determine the number of disabled individuals in the state and the type of support they require. Only 7,000 disabled individuals were registered as such when the independent MLA was the guardian Minister of the Akola district in the Amravati division, he claimed. "However, we discovered 47,000 impaired persons after doing the door-to-door survey", he informed.
Although 2000 special trainers for various disabilities are anticipated to be employed by the Ministry, only 300 have been hired so far.
Also Read: CJI Chandrachud Asks Visually-Challenged Lawyer To Help Make Courts More Disabled-Friendly