Shillong: Out of a total of 200 beneficiaries state-wide, 12 beneficiaries of East Khasi Hills District received UDID Disability Certificates and Assistive Devices in a programme held on Friday in observance of International Day for Persons with Disabilities-cum-North East Disability Summit 2021 at Shillong Club, Shillong.

The assistive devices have been sponsored by All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Ministry of Labour and Employment, and the Ministry of Skill Development.

Meghalaya Minister of Social Welfare Kyrmen Shylla graced the occasion as chief guest. The theme of the programme was ‘Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post Covid -19 world’.

The aim of the programme was to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of activities, thereby increasing their participation and creating more opportunities for them.

It was organised by the office of the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Government of Meghalaya, in collaboration with State Resource Centre on Disability Affairs, Civil Hospital, and Healthy India Chronicle, New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Shylla said the whole world has awakened to the reality and problems faced by people with disabilities, and efforts are on to protect and to ensure their participation to the fullest in all spheres of activity.

Lauding the support of the AICTE, the minister said the up-to-date assistive devices provided to the beneficiaries will go a long way in helping them realise their full potential.

Informing that the state government, through the Social Welfare Department, implements a number of schemes for the benefit of persons with disability, he stressed on the importance of possessing and updating the UDID cards to avail such benefits.

He also talked about the establishment of the composite regional centre at Shillong in collaboration with the National Institute for the Empowerment of People with Multiple Disabilities.

In addition, 50 acres of land has been allotted for the establishment of Centre for Disability Sports at Umsawli, out of which 10 acres has been allotted for the Composite Regional Centre, the minister added.

GHP Raju, Principal Secretary, Labour Department, shared there are 44,000 differently abled persons registered with the government. Reiterating the importance of comprehensive data on differently-abled persons in Meghalaya, Raju stressed that all the beneficiaries should be equipped with Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and mobile number, so as to avail direct transfer benefits from government schemes.

Lamenting that a number of government schemes tend to overlook the participation of differently-abled persons, he stressed on the need for special fund allocation, increasing subsidy amounts and job reservations for differently-abled persons, so that they can be roped into the development agenda of the government.

The chief guest also released a Souvenir of Health India Chronicle which details the various schemes and programmes available with different departments for the benefit and welfare of differently-abled persons.

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