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Posted at: Jul 9, 2016, 2:00 AM; last updated: Jul 9, 2016, 2:00 AM (IST)

Disability certificate eludes 48% in state

Amaninder Pal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 8

Despite the Centre’s long-standing directive that state governments should proactively identity differently-abled individuals and issue them disability certificates, only 52 per cent of such individuals have these certificates in Punjab so far. 

As per figures available with the state Department of Social Security and Development of Women, which anchors schemes for the welfare of the disabled, 3.46 lakh of the total 6.54 lakh handicapped individuals have been issued disability certificates so far. 

The department has already sent several reminders to the state Health Department to issue certificates to at least 70 per cent of such individuals, the benchmark set by the Central Government. 

“Such individuals approach our department to get registered for a monthly pension, but without having disability certificates. This shows that a large number of physically and mentally challenged individuals are not aware of their rights. Hence, it is the duty of the state to identify such individuals and issue them a certificate”, said an officer, requesting anonymity. 

Every handicapped individual, who has been issued a disability certificate is entitled to Rs 500 as monthly pension, he added.

“The Health Department has to organise periodic camps, where the disability certificates are issued by the doctors,” he added. 

Dr HS Bali, Director, Health, said most of the physically and mentally handicapped people in the state had been issued disability certificate by the Health Department.

Uniform criterion for BC certificate

Chandigarh: The state government has fixed a criterion to issue backward class (BC) certificates. The document would certify the BC category and a beneficiary would have to give an undertaking that he/she is not a Socially Advanced Person (from the creamy layer). In a communication to the heads of departments and educational institutions, the Welfare Department has asked them to follow the new format. “Different institutions ask for BC certificate issued in their own format. Some institutions demanded that the certificate had to be six months old. This has been stopped”, said a senior official. TNS

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