Appoint Commissioners, form Advisory Boards for welfare of differently-abled: Centre to states

NEW DELHI: The Central Advisory Board on Disability on Thursday asked states and Union Territories to submit a report on affirmative actions taken by them for the welfare of differently-abled people during the COVID-19 pandemic and urged them to appoint commissioners and constitute state advisory boards at the earliest.
In the fourth meeting of the board under the chairmanship of Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, the states/UTs were advised to create an online mechanism for maintaining data related to vacancies reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities in a transparent manner and also conduct special recruitment drive to fill up backlog vacancies, if any.
The board advised all the central ministries/departments to take effective steps to implement the Accessible India Campaign on mission mode and finalise the accessible standards in respect of their sector(s) in consultation with the chief commissioner for persons with disabilities within six months and submit it to the Department of Empower of Persons with Disabilities for notification, a statement said.
Other matters deliberated upon in the meeting included issues in the disability sector like implementation of the RPwD Act, 2016, Accessible India Campaign and Unique Disability ID Project.
Early intervention and rehabilitation of children with disabilities, measures taken by the states/UTs for protection and welfare of people with disabilities (PwD) during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring distribution of aids and assistive devices among differently-abled people and implementation of the provision of reservation for persons with benchmark disabilities were also discussed, the statement said.
The ministry said the board also took note of the initiatives taken by the Centre such as establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation and Centre for Disability Sports in Madhya Pradesh with a view to take care of rehabilitation of persons with psycho-social disabilities and to promote sports activities among differently-abled people.
The Central Advisory Board urged the states and UTs to appoint independent state commissioners and constitute state advisory boards, if not yet done so, at the earliest, it said.
“The states/UTs were also advised to submit a comprehensive report on affirmative actions taken by them for the welfare of Divyangjan during COVID 19,” it said.
The ministers dealing with empowerment of persons with disabilities of states/UTs or their representatives from about 34 states/UTs, representatives from central ministries and departments concerned, national institutes and other government organisations and non-official members of the board participated in the meeting.