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Need helpline for disabled

DC | KANIZA GARARI
Published Dec 10, 2013, 2:00 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 11:06 pm IST
Technology can be helpful, but is not very accessible.
Picture for representational purpose only.
 Picture for representational purpose only.

Hyderabad: There are several government schemes to help physically and mentally challenged persons, but the government has not bothered to disseminate information widely enough about these schemes and thus not many avail of the benefits.

Those working in the field of disability have suggested that one way to increase awareness and provide information is to start a toll-free helpline on the lines of 100.  Says Gangadhar Rao, a retired government officer working in the field of the disabled, “If there is a toll-free number, a parent can call-in and ask for details of places where they can seek help.

 

Time is very important for a physically challenged child as early intervention can go a long way in either rectifying the problem or allowing access to resources that will help the disabled person become independent.”

This is one of the simple but effective solutions that disability activists are urging the government to adopt on Human Rights Day. They stress on measures that will help disabled persons become independent and live the best possible life under the circumstances. 

Modern technology provides several aids to make life better and easier for disabled persons, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, tricycles, artificial limbs etc., but the government has not been able to supply these free or at low cost to the needy. A senior official claims that the department for the disabled is always short of  funds.

 

The plight of the disabled continues to be very disturbing. They have to run from pillar to post to get even those benefits that are rightfully theirs, which can include something as basic as getting a disability certificate that is necessary to avail of whatever benefits are provided.

Next: 2,768 pending cases in SHRC, number going up every year 

2,768 pending cases in SHRC, number going up every year 

Kruthi Gonwar | DC

Hyderabad: With over 12,000 petitions being filed at the State Human Rights Commission every year, the number of pending petitions has been doubling every year. From just about 63 pending cases in 2011, it increased to 705 in 2012 and 2,768 in 2013.

 

Even though different forums for dealing with specific issues are available, people are approaching the commission for myriad issues like property disputes, domestic violence etc., resulting in many applications getting turned down.

Experts say that there is always a delay in communication from the commission. Founder of the Human Rights and Consumer Protection Cell, Thakur Rajkumar Singh said, “It is becoming a rehabilitation centre for retired judges.

There needs to be an increase in staff and an extension in their judicial powers. These days, we have a peculiar situation as the chairman is not from the state and can only speak in Hindi or English. Many locals have problems due to language.

 

“I have been going regularly to the commission since the time of Justice Subhashan Reddy, when the staff was really small. During his tenure, SHRC became popular because of his landmark judgments and filing of petitions and complaints increased, but the staff remained small.

There is a dearth of staff even now, resulting in delay in communication,” he said. Officials at the AP SHRC, meanwhile, say that the kind of grievances that can be taken up by the commission is not clearly demarcated in the Act.

This World Human Rights Day, the emphasis lies on the future and identifying challenges that lie ahead towards protection and promotion of human rights.

 

A source at the SHRC, however, said, “Though the SHRC claims to be a big organisation, its judicial powers are limited and can only be expanded if the government wants to. It is a myth that cases here get disposed soon. As per Section 21 (5) of the Protection of the Human Rights Act 1993, all topics coming under list II and III will fall under SHRC. But these also fall under the HC.”

V.T.V. Krishna Rao, deputy registrar and personal secretary to the chairman said, “We have been trying to dispose cases as soon as possible, but sometimes it takes a little longer. In spite of awareness among the officials, the cops themselves have been violating the Act.”

 

Next: Health Bill still on paper

Health Bill still on paper

Hyderabad: With the Mental Health Bill 2013 still to be approved by Parliament, the right to mental health continues to be a debatable issue. Meanwhile, with a large number of people suffering from mental illnesses in their productive years, their families continue to suffer.

Dr K. Chandrashekar, psychiatrist with Asha Hospitals says, “The government recognises physical illness as a problem. Similarly, mental illness must be identified as a problem and dealt with. It can’t be ignored as in present times it directly affects the income of a family and also that of the country. By accepting and working towards it, grieving families will get relief and it will also help give a clear picture of the magnitude of the disease.”

 

The National Human Rights Commission has been asked by the Supreme Court to collect adequate information from hospitals and mental health institutions so that the magnitude of mental illness can be verified in the country.

Following this the financial resources and infrastructure facilities can be planned which can then be targeted towards those sections of the society. 

...
Location: Andhra Pradesh




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