State government is sensitive towards welfare of specially abled people and several schemes have been implemented for their socio-economic upliftment. These people are the integral part of the society and have an important role in social and economic development of the State.
Criteria for getting benefits
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Rajiv Saizal while giving details of the welfare scheme said that in order to avail the benefits of these schemes disability certificate is must. The disability is identified by the medical board for which two days in a weak have been earmarked at District Hospitals and in addition to this the disability is also identified in the disability camps which are organised from time to time in different parts of the state. Computerized disability certificates are issued by the District Welfare Officers and on the basis of these certificates specially abled people can get the benefits of various state and central sponsored schemes. 89327 specially abled identity cards were issued till March this year. In order to encourage and give financial benefits to the specially abled people and to provide education to the people who have more than 40 percent disability a monthly scholarship of Rs. 625 to Rs. 3750 is being given without any income criteria. A sum of Rs. 65 Lakh were spent to give scholarship to 692 students during last fiscal.
In order to make these people economically viable 'Self Employment Assistance' scheme has been launched. Under the scheme specially abled people are provided loan facility for setting up of small ventures through Minorities Finance and Development Corporation and twenty percent of total project cost or Rs. 10 thousand is being provided by Social Justice & Empowerment Department.More than 80 percent disabled person are being provided monthly pension of Rs. 1300. In addition to this, people having 40 to 69 percent disability and their annual income is less than Rs. 35000 are provided monthly disability allowance of Rs. 750. Mentally challenged people are also provided disablity allowance without any income criteria.Dr. Saizal told that in order to make specially abled people employable they are being provided vocational training to enhance their skill. In the identified Industrial Training Institutes specially abled people are given free industrial training. A sum of Rs. 1000 per month is also provided to each trainee. In order to encourage the Marriage with specially abled boys and girls a sum of Rs. 25000 ( if disability 42 to 74 percent) and Rs. 50000 ( If disability is more than 75 percent) under the 'Marriage Subsidy Scheme' is provided.
Minister told that government is giving special priority for the education of specially abled persons. In order to provide education and Industrial Training two Institutions one in Dhalli (Shimla) and Sundernagar (Mandi) have been established for deaf, dumb and blind people. In Sundernagar Institute 30 blind and 92 deaf girls are getting training. In addition to this, 10 blind and 4 deaf and dumb girl students are taking training in ITI Sundernagar. Government is bearing all their education and medical expenses. The department is also bearing the education and medical expenses of 50 mentally challenged children in Prem Ashram Una. In Aastha Welfare Society Nahan, Paradise Care Centre Chwari, Adrash Education Society Klath and Udaan, Respite Care Centre New Shimla and Asha Kiran Education Institute Ghumarwin in district Bilaspur the state government is bearing the expenditure of Rs 4500 per inmate on free living (Meal & Medical) of Mentally challenged adult males and females, mentally challenged underdeveloped men & women.Disability Rehabilitation Centres have been established in Hamirpur and Dharamshala run by District Rural Development Agency Hamirpur and Indian Red Cross Society Dharamshala.