Differently-abled individuals have reasons to cheer the budget. Anticipating Central law, the new state budget ensures 5 percent reservation in higher studies and 4 percent reservation in jobs for the differently-abled. Any deformity forces an individual to rely on specialized medical/psychological care almost forver. Those who suffer from motor disabilities face even greater challenges while trying to access rehabilitation or support because there is an acute scarcity of supporting institutions.
Even when such a provision is available, being able to reap benefits is a distant vision, thanks to the cost involved. But the budget envisages palliative care workers reaching out to such people. Another important scheme is the Family health Insurance scheme “Swavalamban” for the disabled from BPL families. The premium for the individual with disability, the primary beneficiary of the scheme, will be paid by the Government. The policy amount of Rs 2 lakh is a breather.
The proposal to recruit a Disability Research Committee to analyse and suggest appropriate solutions is also very welcome. Changes occurring worldwide in terms of technology and research may thus be made available to the public. Our views on emancipation of the differently-abled have sadly been trapped in cliches like providing wheelchairs, hearing aids and Braille computers. That needs to change! I have personal objection towards the decision to unify pensions, treating a persons with varying degrees of disability on par. This will be disastrous in terms of benefits for those who suffer from grievous and debilitating disability. We ought to provide more support to a person who really needs a greater degree of help.
–Writer is a lawyer...