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Promoting Atmanirbhar Bharat, Ayush in disability sector


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Promoting Atmanirbhar Bharat in the disability sector, bringing out a dynamic database to provide information on a real-time basis and better engagement of Ayush research and care to address this sector are among the salient features of the draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities.
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has invited comments on the draft policy from stakeholders by July 9.
“Efforts will be made to fully indigenise high-end prosthesis i.E. Below knee and above knee with local procurement of input raw material,” the draft read.
The policy also aims to modernise the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) with advanced contemporary equipment. This will not only increase its production capacity but will also enable it to produce better quality aids and assistive devices, thus obviating the need for importing them, the draft policy said.
It also said that a targeted mission should be launched to ensure that people with disabilities (PwDs) get accessible and affordable health services.
“The National Health Programme should include disability as an important component and health infrastructure should be strengthened upto PHC/CHC/Health and Wellness Centres so as to enable these healthcare institutions at sub district/block/village level to cater to the health and rehabilitation needs of PwDs in the community,” it said.
MBBS and other medical courses should include a module on disability that can be developed in consultation with rehabilitation professionals and PwDs. And the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana should be aligned with the objective of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, the draft policy stated.
It also called for a dynamic database which can provide information on a real-time basis, be it the extent of problem, level of outreach of government programmes and schemes, inadequacy in representation of vulnerable classes at various levels etc., which are crucial for taking informed decisions.
“All healthcare institutions should be linked to a common database of PwDs under UDID project and a mechanism needs to be developed for the progress of disability specific health status across the country. This would help in making appropriate course corrections for implementation of national and state level health programme,” it said.
The district medical authorities need to take steps to ensure that the disability certificate is issued within 30 days of receipt of the application, it said.
“Every district hospital to have equipment and facilities for testing of blood disorders, assessment of locomotor, visual and hearing disability (BERA test) etc. In addition, sign language interpreter to be deputed at every district hospitals. This would minimise inconvenience to PwDs,” it said.
The draft policy has also called for constituting mobile disability certification teams at the district level to conduct certification camps for speedy certification of disabilities at nearby locality.
It also mooted complete digitisation of the assessment process under Unique ID for Persons with Disabilities (UDID) portal so as to ensure fairness and accountability in assessing the disabilities to be linked to all service delivery schemes and programmes.
In the education sector, the draft policy said that states and union territories shall insert a provision regarding compliance of the provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, by educational institutions while recognizing and granting them permission.
The policy further said that a system will be developed to monitor the progress of each child with disability based on learning outcomes. Disability specific course curriculum and evaluation system shall be developed, it added.
Also, the draft policy said that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will issue necessary guidelines for making modification in personal vehicles being used by persons with disabilities as per their requirement. (PTI)
To come up with the draft policy, a committee was constituted under secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) and consisted persons with disabilities and their associations among other experts to review the existing National Policy for Persons with Disabilities, 2006.
The committee constituted a taskforce under joint secretary, DEPwD, to draft the new policy. This taskforce submitted its recommendations to the committee on October 12 last year.
Based on the deliberations and inputs given by the taskforce members, the new draft policy was framed and has been placed for wider stakeholder consultation.

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