NEW DELHI, Jan 20: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said here that the specially abled are blessed with “divine ability” and that is the reason why Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested that the term “Divyang” should be used for them in place of “Viklang”. There are a number of instances, he said, where the specially abled or so called disabled have actually excelled and done better than others.
Dr Jitendra Singh was making these observations after meeting a delegation of the specially abled citizens represented by “Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled”. He said, for the last over two and a half years, the Modi Government has taken a series of steps to provide several enabling facilities for the convenience of the specially abled working in different spheres and also when they undertake travel, etc. The high priority accorded to this section of population is evident from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself decided to celebrate his 66th birthday on September 17th by distributing aid and enabling equipments including wheel chairs, tricycles, hearing aids and special smart phones for visually impaired to 11,223 “Divyang” at Navsari in Gujarat.
The members of delegation expressed satisfaction at the government’s positive attitude towards them and also thanked Dr Jitendra Singh for having supported their cause from time to time. They also recalled that last year, Dr Jitendra Singh had taken time out from his busy schedule to cheer the India versus Pakistan cricket teams of the visually impaired during the T20 cricket series organized by the “Cricket Association for the Blind in India”. The same association, they said, plans to hold a Cricket World Cup for the Blind this year and they would be honoured and delighted if he could again spare some time for them.
Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to a number of path-breaking decisions taken in the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) to make the working conditions easier and to exploit the maximum potential of the specially abled officials. He recalled that soon after joining the DoPT, he came across the case of a 100% visually impaired Tamil Nadu girl, Beno Zephine who had qualified the UPSC Civil Services examination and was keen to join the Indian Foreign Service, but there were some issues involved as per the existing guidelines. He said, as a result of our constant endeavor and follow-up, not only did we succeed in overcoming the hassles, but it was also ensured that Beno Zephine was finally allocated IFS cadre as desired by her, for which the Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj also helped through personal intervention.
In the times to come also, Dr Jitendra Singh said, DoPT in collaboration with Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, plans to work out at different levels, measures to increase the participation and contribution of the specially abled in the task of nation building.