SHILLONG, Aug 30 - Meghalaya has over 44,000 Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and the majority of these people live in the rural areas of the State.
Addressing a two-day national seminar on �Strategic Plan for Rehabilitation of PwDs�, Minister in charge of Social Welfare Kyrmen Shylla said out of the 44,317 PwDs, 37,566 reside in the rural areas.
Shylla said that under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, it is the responsibility of the State Government to rehabilitate and empower the PwDs. He said the seminar would help mobilise support for the PwDs in the State and also the region and create an inclusive society.
Additional Chief Secretary, Social Welfare, Hector Marwein said that the Unique Disability Identity Card (UDID) is yet to be issued to PwDs of the State and requested the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to expedite the process so that the beneficiaries can avail of various schemes and benefits.
He also said that there is lack of manpower and specialists in the State in this sector and urged the Ministry to tie up with the State Government to train the available manpower in the State.
Earlier, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Dolly Chakraborty said that the objective of the seminar is to rehabilitate PwDs and bring everybody under one canvas for inclusive growth in the society. She stated that the approach now for the welfare of PwDs is inter-ministerial and the legislation passed by the Parliament in 2016 not only gives legal rights, but has opened a lot of challenges and responsibilities both for the Central and State governments.
She added that the two-day seminar would deliberate on data collection and capacity building by involving the participation of people working with PwDs and formulate a strategic action plan for rehabilitation of PwDs in the North East.
As per the 2011 Census, there are 2.68 crore PwDs in the country, out of whom 7,33,000 reside in the North East. The seminar will focus on a five-year strategic plan to reach out to every child with disabilities in the region.
The seminar is being organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of PwDs, in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and the Office of the Commissioner of PwDs, Government of Meghalaya.