Time to review it and make it more inclusive: K.V. Rajanna
Five years after the State notified a policy on disability, none of the requirements has been implemented, State Commissioner for Disabilities K.V. Rajanna said here on Friday.
This includes plans for affirmative action in recruitments, health initiatives and measures in the education and schooling sectors. Now, making a case for a review of the policy, Mr. Rajanna told presspersons the State must set up a separate secretariat, and appoint a separate secretary, to monitor welfare measures in this sector. In addition, he proposes that the department's name be changed to include senior citizens and persons with disabilities, in addition to Women and Child Welfare.
The change has to be “from the grassroots”, Mr. Rajanna said. The policy changes he is proposing includes setting up an independent machinery, right from the block-level (where there is no staff deputed at present) to the district-level, where currently officers are being sent on temporary deputation. “We need a separate machinery to look into this. If we are serious about changing things, then we cannot have temporary staff without any training whatsoever, occupying these critical posts,” he said.
Critically, he pointed out, that no study or government survey has been conducted on the state of the persons living with disabilities in the State.
Among 23 key points Mr. Rajanna is submitting to the Government are lack of focus on mental health, poor coordination between the Education Department and his office, and inadequate focus and budgetary allocations to special schools. “The Central Government allocation for special schools has been decreasing. And it is important that the State steps up fund allocation, and also enforces proper monitoring.”
In the 2011-2012 budget, Mr. Rajanna said around Rs. 40 crore was allocated to the disability sector. “The last I checked, only 60 per cent of the funds had been utilised. It does not help to have funds if there is no proper system of utilising it.”