The Government seem to be taking this exercise in all the corners of India to see that Disability Evaluation and Certification is done as per set norms. However, the process is still tedious for many and as per estimates presented by Union Minister for State of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India, only 22% persons with disabilities counted in 2001 census have been given the Disability Certificates. One could easily imagine and about the status of remaining 78% when all Govt. schemes, benefits are only given to those who have a valid Disability Certificate!
In this light, the whole process of certification at times seems unending in a gigantic country like India, unless the Government consciously decides to make an earnest effort to issue Smart Card based multi-purpose Disability Certificates to all so that multi-certificates for various reasons could be avoided. I remember when on 25 September 2007, a National Consultation Meeting to simplify the procedure of Issuing Disability Certificate was organised by Svayam in association with Aarth-Astha at New Delhi which had major recommendation that I feel are still to be implemented!
The need of the hour is to take this issue as a national challenge to map all citizens and children with Disabilities and issue them this crucial document within a time bound programme.
Subhash Chandra Vashishth
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Doctors urged to follow norms while issuing disability certificates
Health official says doctors will have to follow uniform guidelines specified by the Central government to evaluate and certify the cause of disability.
Doctors will have to follow uniform guidelines specified by the Central government to evaluate and certify the cause of disability, said Principal Secretary, Health, V.K.Subburaj.
Addressing medical professionals, who are also members of the various Medical Boards in the district, Mr. Subburaj said doctors have to take the task of issuing disability certificates seriously. Apart from responsibility and commitment, they also had to have a rounded picture of multiple disabilities while issuing the certificates.
He was speaking at the inaugural of a State-level workshop on Disability Evaluation and Certification organised here by the National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD).
NIEMPD Director Neeradha Chandramohan said currently certification was being done only for uni-disability or a single disability. The training programme was organised to orient doctors on multiple disability certification. A disability of 40 per cent or more was caused by blindness, low vision, hearing impairment, mental retardation, mental illness, locomotor disability, leprosy (cured), Cerebral Palsy and Autism. Multiple disabilities indicate a condition in which the disability is caused by two or more of the above causes, she added.
The objective of the workshop was not only to disseminate information to doctors regarding the guidelines, but also to clarify their doubts regarding the current evaluation process. The issue of simplifying the process was also taken up at the meeting, as the medical boards met only once a week to give certificates. It was mentioned that this was insufficient to cover a substantial portion of the disabled population.
The recommendations from the meeting would be sent to the Government of India through the State government, Dr. Chandramohan added. The workshop was conducted by the NIEPMD with the National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped, Kolkata, and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.