Government is looking into the process of issuing universal identity cards to persons with disabilities for which a survey would be conducted, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot today said. "We will speed up the process and make their identity cards. A survey would also be conducted," he told newspersons on the sidelines of a review meeting on functioning of seven national institutions serving persons with disabilities.
The Minister also said that adequate measures are taken to check irregularities while implementing schemes for the beneficiaries of Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry. "We have an elaborate monitoring system in place. The State Governments also have their respective monitoring systems to check the implementation of the schemes," he stressed.
Gehlot noted that if the criteria of more than 40% is applied, then there are 7.5 crore disabled people in the country. "As per norms, if a person has more than 40% disability, he is disabled..... But those with less disability should also be consider as disabled," he added. "Those with less than 40% disability should also come under definition of disability for being accorded disabled status... We are working in that direction," the Minister said.
Gehlot also observed that the actual number of persons with disabilities was not available due to a variety of reasons ranging from absence of proper certificates to identity cards. "There are about 7.5 crore disabled people in the country. But it is a fact we have not been able to get the exact numbers. There are several reasons for it," he stated. The reasons could be that persons with disabilities may not have identity cards or they do not have physician certificates about the percentage of their disability, he added.