A parliamentary panel expressed disappointment over several states and UTs still not having appointed independent state commissioners to address the issues of persons with disabilities (PwDs) despite repeated requests by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 mandate all states and UTs to appoint state commissioners for persons with disabilities to address their issues.
The committee, in its report, said it was not able to comprehend how the department was addressing the issue and obviating the difficulties being faced by PwDs in states where neither disability cards were issued to them nor was the state commissioner appointed.
"As appointment of independent state disability commissioner is mandatory for proper monitoring of the progress of issuing disability certificates and grievance redressal of PwDs, the committee, recommend that the department must now take stern action and issue fresh directions to erring states/UTs to appoint state commissioner and notify rules under the RPwD Act without any further delay," the panel said.
The parliamentary committee report on the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities also asked the disability department under the Ministry of Social Justice to speed up the implementation of the Unique Disability ID (UDID) project for issuance of disability certificates to enable people to avail the benefits meant for them.
In view of a population of 2.68 crore PwDs in the country, issuing UDID Cards to each of them would be an uphill task, the committee said.
It found that the project was presently being implemented in 21 states and UTs and it would be rolled out in all of them by December.
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, however, did not give any information as to how many disabled persons had so far been issued UDID card.
"The committee, therefore, exhorted the department to implement the UDID project more vigorously and complete it within a definite time schedule," it said.
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