GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - Launching the Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Achoni on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called for change of mindset among people towards the differently abled for providing them a life of dignity.
�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 among the public representatives and the people towards the divyangjans,� Naidu said addressing the programme organised by the State social welfare department at the Sarusajai stadium here.
He said mere enacting of legislations and launching of schemes was not enough. �It isn�t a bill, but political will and administrative skill, which is required for the welfare of the divyangjans. It is the duty of the entire society and humanity is to identify their problems and appreciate their abilities and help them for their development,� he said.
He also called upon banks to take initiatives to encourage and facilitate the differently abled.
�Now, money is no longer in bedrooms, bathrooms... The money is in banks now. They should provide liberal loans to this section of people,� he said.
The Vice President, who interacted with different organisations representing the divyangs, also said that the State government has informed him that it was considering setting up of a separate directorate for the differently abled and filling up of the over 4,000 vacant posts reserved for them.
The Vice President presented cheques of Rs 5,000 to seven differently abled people of the State as one-time assistance for their medical treatment. The Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Achoni 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.
Naidu advised the State government for online identification of the differently abled people and transfer of financial assistance of government schemes to them.
Governor Jagdish Mukhi in his speech urged the people to understand the fundamental principle behind observation of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which aims at ensuring dignity and development of the physically challenged.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the State government is committed to the welfare of the poor and the divyangs 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.
Coinciding with the programme, Naidu also distributed Prerona Award instituted by the Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) to ten meritorious differently abled students. The award carries Rs 10,000 and a certificate.