Manipur based Disable Development Association (DDA) urged the concerned authorities to incorporate the issues of persons with disabilities (PwD) while taking up the development projects.
Speaking to reporters at the Manipur Press club on Wednesday afternoon, the advisor Dr Th Chandramani of DDA claimed that the issues of the PWDs were ignored and it was hardly reflected in most of the election manifestoes of the political parties.
At the same time it was also not clear that the funds earmarked for the PwD s in the Member of Parliemant local area development scheme had been utilized or not, Dr Chandramani questioned. “I do not think the fund meant for PwD s is utilized on time,” he alleged.
He said that para 3.28 of guidelines on Member of Parliemant local area development scheme, provides a sum of Rs 10 lakhs per year for purchase of tricycle,wheelchair and artificial limbs for differently abled deserving PwDs.
DDA advisor also expressed unhappiness for not developing PWDs friendly infrastructure while constructing government or private buildings. Most of the existing infrastructures are not suitable for PwD s as most of them do not have ramps etc. According to DDA, there are around more than 50,000 PWDs in Manipur.
Meanwhile as per directions of the Election Commission of India, the State election machinery has to provide special facilitation of all the PwDs. A total of 7,699 PwDs have been marked on the E-roll and five light vehicles per Assembly Constituency will be provided for transportation of those PwDs.
The Deputy Commissioners have been sensitized to map each PwD and try and provide a specific volunteer for every PwD.
These volunteers would all be less than the voting age and shall be sourced from Nehru Yuva Kendra, National Cadet Corps, NGOs and school children of class XI and XII. Funds have been released to DCs and honourarium for all the volunteers has also been released, according to chief electoral officer P K Singh of Manipur.
He also informed that the DC Churachandpur has committed to ensure 100 percent voting by PwDs and he shall be taking up a special drive to submit geo tagged photographs of all such voters after voting at the polling stations. If successful this will be the first such initiative in the entire country he added.