From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Dec 3: Reiterating the Congress government’s commitment for the welfare of the oppressed and neglected sections of society, especially the physically challenged persons, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday explained the allocation of Rs 284 crore for the welfare of the physically challenged persons in this year’s budget.
Inaugurating the World Physically Challenged Persons’ Day celebrations for the year 2023 held under the auspices of the Women’s and Child Welfare, Physically Challenged and Empowerment of Senior Citizens Department at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, he said welfare of the poor and downtrodden as well as physically challenged persons and women was the first priority of the government.
Siddaramaiah said there were 13,24,205 physically challenged persons in the State as per the 2011 census figures and mentioned that the number would have gone up considerably during the last decade.
"It is wrong to treat the physically challenged persons as a burden to society or useless. They are intelligent and smart. The government wants to empower the physically challenged persons by providing them opportunities for education, employment and other rights,’’ he said.
The chief minister said the government has issued an order to provide 5% reservation in jobs to the physically challenged persons and pointed out that he has been responding to the problems of these persons during his Janata Darshan programmes.
He said 4,000 motor operated tricycles are being distributed to the physically challenged persons at a cost of Rs 40 crore and 40 laptops are distributed to the blind students. The government is providing scholarships to the physically challenged students, including facilities for higher education.
The chief minister said 10 schools for the mentally challenged students are being opened in seven districts at a cost of Rs 2 crore each.
The physically challenged students have excelled themselves in sports and won laurels, he said and assured that the government will help in their rehabilitation and provision of medical facilities.
Minister for Women’s and Child Welfare, Physically Challenged and Empowerment of Senior Citizens Lakshmi Hebbalkar explained the various schemes offered by her department for the welfare of the physically challenged persons.
The chief minister conferred awards on persons and institutions working for the welfare of the physically challenged persons and also released a handbook on various facilities and schemes of the government.