The revamped Persons with Disability Act 2016 might have come as a respite for several but it has disappointed those who are beneficiaries of government-run Swavlambhan scheme.
Exclusion of the recently included disabled categories under the Persons with Disability Act 2016 did not come as a relief to Sanjive Gauhri, father of a mentally retarded 23-year-old daughter.
“My daughter is a beneficiary but what about the rest who are facing similar hardships?” asked Gauhri.
Sanjive Gauhri has filed an online petition and asked that if Parliament passed the bill in 2016 and introduced new Persons with Disability Act 2016, then why should only seven categories of people benefit and not all who fall under 21 categories?
“The Swavlambhan scheme offers Rs 2 lakh medical cover to people with disabilities and as of today Rs 2 lakh amounts to nothing for hospitalisation,” said Gauhri.
Gauhri added that government should increase the insurance cover from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to bear medical expenses.
The Swavlambhan scheme is offered by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s Department of Empowerment of Person’s with Disability, where a person with disability pays Rs 357 yearly and the balance of Rs 3100 is paid by the government. The scheme currently considers only those who come under PWD act 1995 – covering blindness, low vision, leprosy, hearing impairment, locomotor disability, mental retardation and mental illness. However, the new Persons with Disability Act 2016 has added 14 more disabilities According to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment officials, the scheme is effective and in place.