Volume 4 Issue 3 - February 01, 2006

District Rehabilitation Centre Scheme faces closure: Project Director’s Office

D.N.I.S. News Network The District Rehabilitation Centre Scheme launched by the Union Government in 1995, to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to disabled people in rural areas, is likely to be discontinued with no budgetary allocation being made for the year 2006-2007.

 This development became public a few days ago following a press conference organised by a Mysore-based disability rights organisation. This was confirmed by D.N.I.S. from the Office of Project Director, District Rehabilitation Centre, Sunita Singh. Though the Project Director was out of town when we contacted her office, a senior researcher in her staff said that the information was correct and the project was on verge of closure, as the Union Government had not made any budgetary allocation for 11 District Rehabilitation Centres (D.R.C.s) in 10 States.

 The discontinuation of the decade-old pilot project would lead to loss of job opportunities that these Centres used to generate, besides providing vital counselling to disabled people in rural areas. Under the Community Based Rehabilitation by these Centres, disabled people are assessed by a team of specialists who then recommend and provide aids and appliances. These Centres work in co-ordination with Anganwadi and rehabilitation workers trained for identifying persons with disabilities at camps organised at the village level.  

 The D.R.C.s have been responsible for opening 108 District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (D.D.R.C.s), including four in Karnataka, one each in Bellary, Belgaum, Mangalore and Tumkur. The Mysore Centre, in a communication on 22 December 2005, had asked the State Government to take over its functioning saying that it has no budgetary allocation for the scheme for the next fiscal year (2006-07).

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