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Differently-abled worst hit


GUWAHATI, April 5 - The physically challenged people of the State are the worst hit by the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Nripen�Malakar, general secretary of the Pratibandhi Suraksha Sangstha, Assam, an organisation working for the development of differently-abled people of the State, said, �The persons with disabilities are facing hardship amid the nationwide lockdown. A majority of differently-abled people earning their livelihood are in the unorganized sector. They need human assistance due to the absence of accessible public facilities and assistive technologies and maintaining social distancing is also difficult for them. Moreover, those who have children or elderly parents are also bearing the brunt.�

�In this situation, financial support to the differently-abled people is one help that is needed for the time being. However, most of these people here did not get the disability allowance of Rs 1,000 per month for the last six months. Assurance was made last month by the State government but that was not fulfilled yet,� Malakar added.

He further said that people with cognitive disability need assistance for even accessing the government grant from their bank accounts.

Malakar also urged the State government to release the fund of Rs 2.5 lakh to the Assam Andha Sishu Vidyalaya Bihpuria, Lakhimpur.

�Several students are still in the school hostel. The food and other important essential items have been provided to the students with the help from the locals and NGOs,� he added.

Destination, an NGO, which has housed more than 100 special children and adults, said that special measures have been taken to sensitise them about the deadly virus.

�As they need more healthcare than others, special screenings have been taken to make them understand the present scenario. We have two homes � one for children and the other for adults � in the city. Visitors have not been allowed since the lockdown was announced. A nurse has been enlisted for their support,� superintendent of the NGO Chumki Bora said.

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