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Disabled children's welfare hangs between bureaucratic snags

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Social Justice Ministry was the parent department to handle the welfare of handicapped children under the provisions of Persons With Disabilities (equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, 1995.

After the new department of women and child welfare was carved out of social justice, welfare and protection of disabled children was allocated to it in the early 1990s.

In May this year, during a meeting with the state finance and women and child welfare secretaries, a decision was taken by then Chief Secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad that 26 handicapped children shelter homes with the women and child welfare will be transferred to the social justice department.

The Union Women and Child Welfare Ministry has decided that since disabled children will be looked under provisions of Persons with Disabilities Act, grants would not be provided under Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), sources said.

Officials said the decision was taken because women and child welfare department did not have experts to deal with issues related to disabled children, while social justice department had a separate handicapped welfare commissionarate.

However, the state social justice department objected to the decision since the government resolution (GR) was issued without informing the concerned minister.

The department wanted the GR to be scrapped and proposed a meeting between ministers of the two departments before taking a final decision.

However, the women and child welfare ministry has said the decision had been taken with approval from Chief Minister.

On the ICPS grants, officials said even though the shelter homes for handicapped children have been transferred to the social justice department, the actual implementation will take time because few policy decisions are necessary.

Due to the delay in implementation, the ICPS grants from June 1 to November 30, 2012 should be given, officials demanded.

First Published: Sun, September 16 2012. 15:16 IST