Mumbai 19 January 2019
In India there are 26.8 million persons with disabilities. This is about 2.21 per cent of the total population of the country. Bringing them to the mainstream through their education and empowerment is the priority of the present Government. There are 21 categories of disabilities, majority of which are – blindness, hearing impairment, locomotor disability, intellectual disability, autism, cerebral palsy, speech & language disability etc. Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India has been implementing a scheme titled “Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme(DDRS)” for education and rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities(PwD). The scheme provides with the services of basic education, physiotherapy and other rehabilitation and life-skill development to these persons with special needs. The scheme is being implemented through a wide of network of voluntary organizations working throughout the country including semi-urban and rural areas.
DDRS comprises of nine sub-projects covering the needs of persons with different types of disabilities of all age groups. These components include – special schools (separate schools for visual, hearing and intellectual disabilities), low vision centres, half-way home, project for cerebral palsy, home-based rehabilitation, community based rehabilitation, project for leprosy-cured persons and human resources development etc.
The Government of India has been advocating for “Maximum Governance, Minimum Government” or governance at the doorstep. Considering the implementation mechanism of DDRS, it can be said a glaring example of such initiatives of the government. The scheme is being run through an on-line portal E-Anudaan (www.grantsje.nic.in) having an end-to-end solution which requires minimum human interface and ensures complete transparency. The project implementing agencies apply on-line when they are to upload soft copies of the requisite documents. The projects are physically verified by the Social Welfare Officer of the concerned district who is to upload his report in the said portal. The concerned Department of the State Government is to give its recommendation on-line and forwards the matter to the central government i.e. Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. The Department processes the entire matter through the portal and releases the admissible financial assistance to the implementing agencies.
About 600 voluntary organizations working on these projects located throughout the country including its remotest corners are receiving financial assistance from the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Government of India. In April, 2018 the Department has made a major revamp of the DDRS scheme in which the quantum of financial assistance has been enhanced and the process has been streamlined. Thousands of children with special needs, their care givers, rehabilitation professionals are benefitted through the DDRS. The scheme is definitely a stepping stone towards ensuring good governance