Facilities for differently abled persons

We owe our preferred attention as our duty towards the differently able(d) persons of our society on equal terms like all others, besides they being fully entitled to realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms . It can leave no scope of any doubt that there should be no discrimination with them of any kind. Looking to their status, they instead must enjoy human rights specifically linked thereto. Having said so, a question arises as to whether we fully know their needs and difficulties. Has there been in operation a periodic survey , a sort of data collection in this regard in our state to know the extent of their problems and the response needed to address them as also the areas of deficiencies in such exercises and the actions taken and duly weighed in relation to the callousness of the Government and various agencies . We are afraid, we have our fingers crossed.
‘Excelsior’ is repeatedly expressing the views that for almost every area of the functioning of the administrative apparatus, to get desired results, why conditions are created such that court doors are knocked at by people, mostly aggrieved or others on their behalf, filing PILs rather than the need thereof arranged to be pre-empted by good governance, except of course in cases of rareness. In the instant case, a PIL filed by an NGO is seeking reasonably sufficient infrastructural facilities in the only School for the Blind situated in Roop Nagar Jammu with a roll of 25 students . This School is providing educational facilities only up to class 5 and not beyond that . However, Division Bench of the State High Court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal has taken a serious view of the matter and observed, “this position discloses a callous disregard to the plight of the children who are visually impaired.” The Bench has, therefore, directed The Commissioner Secretary to Government Social Welfare Department to place before the court an action plan for disability census within four weeks or appear in person on the next day of hearing.
There are available Central grants to the Jammu and Kashmir Government like all other states as also running of several schemes for the benefit of the differently able(d) people and whether the benefits were fully utilized for the intended ones as also whether the schemes in operation for this category of our society were being run smoothly must be inquired into and the court has passed directions in that aspect too as it has sought a status report from the Central Government through Secretary Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Why cannot Jammu and Kashmir state emulate Tamil Nadu where the Government in its drive towards all round development of the differently able(d) persons has created a separate department and formulated a comprehensive welfare policy . The need is to create an inclusive society by integrating the differently able(d) in the mainstream . Although there are legislative measures in the form of The Jammu and Kashmir Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities , Protection and Rights and Full Participation) Act 1998 recognizing several disabilities but much remains to be done and as the Bench has observed that “we have not even begun to examine the needs and the difficulties of persons with such impairment” describes the poor and casual approach of the Government towards a problem which should touch our conscience rather than our official formalities to address their problems. We hope the problems and the difficulties faced by the differently abled people especially children in the only School would get duly resolved sooner than any later.