Vice President Naidu launches Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Achoni in Guwahati
by Hemanta Kumar Nath, 03/12/2017, Guwahati

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that mere legislation would not guarantee an equal and dignified life to the differently abled and called for change of mindset amongst people towards the differently abled and providing them a life of dignity.while ceremonially launching the Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Achoni in the presence of Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in a programme organized by Social Welfare Department coinciding the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati, Vice President Naidu urged the society to work for creating a society free from stigma and discrimination towards them.“Divyangjans don’t want sympathy, they want empathy. They want themselves to be owned as part of the society and family and not to be treated as burden. It is our bounden and sacred duty to provide them a respectable life. There is a need for change of mindset amongst the public representatives and the people towards the divyangjans,” the Vice President said.“It isn’t a bill, but political will and administrative skill, which is required for the welfare of the divyangjans. Duty of the entire society and humanity is to identify their problems and appreciate their abilities and help them for their development,” Naidu said.

Stating that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership the divyangjans received a renewed focus and many schemes targeting their welfare have now been taken up by the central and state governments, the Vice President urged the government machinery to be responsive to the needs of the differently abled and create accessible environment for them in government offices, educational and other public institutions. Saying that 2.21 percent of India’s population and 15 percent of world population are physically challenged, Naidu also urged the people to take a pledge to provide them a life of dignity. He also called upon the banks to accord priority in providing liberal loans to the dibyangjans.The Vice President also appreciated union government’s initiatives for the divyangjans including issue of unique identity cards and increase in percentage of reservation from earlier three percent to four percent in government jobs. He also lavished praise over state government’s Assam Employees PRONAM Act, which makes it mandatory for all government employees to contribute 10 percent of their salary to take care of their parents and differently abled siblings and urged other state governments of the country to emulate the same.

Naidu advised the state government for online identification of the differently abled people and transfer of financial assistance of government schemes to them. He also asked the government to implement the Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Achoni in true letter and spirit. As part of the launching ceremony, the Vice President presented cheques of Rs 5000 to seven differently abled people of the state as one-time assistance for their medical treatment.The scheme will cover around 4.5 lakh divyangjans of the state and an amount of Rs 250 crore has been allocated in the state budget.In the first phase of implementation, one lakh identified beneficiaries would receive the financial assistance.On the other hand, Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi urged the people to understand the fundamental principle behind observation of International Day of Persons with disabilities which aims at ensuring dignity and development of the physically challenged.By calling the physically challenged persons as “Divyangs”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi put the agenda of this “neglected” section of the society into “priviledged” category, he added.

Mukhi also underlined state government’s initiatives for the divyangjans like ‘Project reach Out and Respond’, where the Social Welfare and Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Assam in association with Mahavir Viklangata Sahayata Samiti, Jaipur is providing aides to the differently abled people under the aegis of the Gauhati High Court.The Assam governor also hoped that the new legislation ‘Assam Employees PRONAM Act’ would guarantee security and dignified life to the old parents and the divyangjans. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal while delivering his speech said that the state government is committed to place welfare of the poor and the divyngjans at the centre of its thoughts. “The Deen Dayal Dibyangjan Sahajya Achoni is introduced with a humanistic approach. Following Prime Minister Nnarendra Modi’s mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Assam government is working resolutely to ensure inclusive,  equal and all round development of all,” Sonowal said.

He also said that, the state government would ensure social security and economic growth of all its citizens. Sonowal further said that the newly launched Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Achoni would benefit 4.5 lakh divyangjans of the state and urged the people to help in identifying all the people who are having physical challenges so that the government could work for their empowerment.The Assam Government recently laid the foundation for the first ever ITI in the country at Dibrugarh for divyangs in a bid to make the divyangjans self sufficient, Sonowal said that the state government is also taking steps for providing employment to differently abled people as per provisions of the central government.

Coinciding the programme, Vice President Naidu also distributed Prerona Award instituted by the Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) to ten meritorious differently abled students which carries a cheque of Rs 10 thousand and a certificate. Minister of State for Social Welfare Department Naba Kumar Doley, MP Bijoya Chakraborty, several MLAs, Chief Minister’s Media and Legal Advisers Hrishikesh Goswami and Santanu Bharali, Mayor Mrigen Sarania, Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia, Principal Secretary of Social Welfare Department Jishunu Baruah and host of other public representatives and government officials attended in the programme.