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Championing the differently abled
Correspondent KOHIMA:
Published on 14 Mar. 2010 12:23 AM IST
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Members of Disabled Parents’ Association Kohima on Saturday held a meeting with Disabled Parents’ Association of Meghalaya at Joyance Pre-School Kohima, organized by Cherry Blossoms Society. Affected parents and members of the association discussed issues with resource persons from Meghalaya and Guwahati. Speaking on various policies and schemes of the government and role parents association, Nabarun Sengupta, Coordinator of NESCCOD, Parivaar Guwahati, asserted the importance of involvement of parents in government schemes and policies for people with special needs. Stating that Kohima district had a disability population of 3384 as per the 2001 census, he urged the need to create awareness to the parents to avail benefits meant for them, especially in fields of education, health care and employment. Zonal secretary, Parivaar and member of Meghalaya Disabled Parents’ Association, Belbora Wankhar, urged Kohima association to strengthen themselves physically, mentally and spiritually. She asserted the need for all affected parents in the North East to come under one umbrella to improve the condition of the disabled people in the north east. Highlighting on inclusive education under SSA, research Associate in charge of Inclusive Education, Nagaland, Tali Jamir, said that SSA was focusing on Zero Rejection Policy, whereby no child was deprived of education. Following the policy, Jamir stated that department was taking assessment camps with Social Welfare Department and Medical Department to identify children with special needs so as to give them education. He highlighted the procedure of the assessment camp, and informed that various benefits were given to the disabled according to the degree of their disability. In-house education was given to the worst affected, he added. He also added that the department was in the process of identifying NGOs to work with in districts of the state. Joint director of Social Welfare D. Terhüja, while pointing out provisions of people with disability under provision, said Social Welfare Department had schemes and special programme for disabled in various categories. He informed that differently abled persons and the blind were given financial assistance of Rs.100 each every month, with 1032 differently abled persons and 200 blind people availing the scheme and at present. He further informed that scholarship was given to students with disabilities, with about 300 students availing the scheme. Terhüja also appraised the gathering that department was making all efforts to restart loan service for the handicapped. He said that the service was discontinued earlier due to poor loan recovery. He further encouraged the people to avail the 3% job reservation vacancy to be reserved for people with disabilities. Earlier, Anita Ezung and Kapochü-o Naleo shared their experiences with the gathering. The programme was chaired by Purnima Kayina, headmistress, Cherry Blossoms School Kohima.

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