DNIS News Network - Punjab cabinet sanctioned a hike in allowance given to unemployed persons with disabilities, at a meeting held earlier this month. The meeting of Council of Ministers chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, unanimously approved the hike.
According to a government spokesperson the allowance for the orthopaedically handicapped persons (matriculates) would be raised to Rs. 225 per month from the existing Rs 150 and graduates of the same category would be getting Rs. 300 per month from existing Rs. 200. For non-disabled and unemployed matriculates the allowance would be Rs. 450 per month from existing Rs. 300 per month and graduates would get Rs. 600 from the existing Rs. 400.
As per figures in the Census 2001 on “disability”, the state has a total population of 1.7 per cent afflicted by one or the other type of disability. This is lower than that of the all-India figure of 2.1 per cent. Of the five disabilities listed in the census, Punjab has the largest share (40.02%) of people with visual impairment. This is followed by Orthopaedic disability (35.3%), hearing impairment (4.1%) and mental impairment (15%).
The above hike, needless to say, is grossly inadequate for even basic sustenance. The higher allowance for non-disabled people is discriminatory! In fact, it should be the other way around, as disabled people spend more for their daily living than disabled people not only due to their disability but also the public facilities are inaccessible to them.