HYDERABAD: Reacting to a news analysis published in these columns on January 6, the state government’s department for welfare of disabled has said it would issue disability certificates to patients afflicted with multiple sclerosis starting next month.
This disease, which has no treatment, is controllable only by a slew of expensive drugs. Multiple sclerosis patients (MSPs) of the city are overjoyed with the government’s decision. They say that disability certificates would entitle them to educational scholarship schemes, rebate in income tax, reservation in government jobs, free travel in state buses, loans for setting up businesses and so on.
“We have received orders only today (Friday). We will be coming up with a website where people can file applications for disability cards,” B. Shailaja, director, Juvenile Welfare, Correctional Services and Welfare of Street Children, who also handles the disabled subject, told Deccan Chronicle.
She pointed out that the erstwhile list of disabilities — called the Persons with Disability — recognised by the government had only seven ailments on it when the list came out first in 1995. The bill titled Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2016 was passed to replace the earlier act.
“In the new bill, there are 21 disabilities as compared to seven in the earlier one. Once we get the website up and running, we will begin issuing certificates,” Shailaja stated.
However, when it comes to a disability like multiple sclerosis, a clause asks for percentage of disability. “We are going to have a team of medical and health experts, which will decide on the set of parameters to decide on percentage of disability,” Shailaja added....