Chandigarh, October 27 : – To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2017, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered a special recruitment drive to be conducted across the
state to clear the backlog of vacancies for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the public sector. A special event will also be conducted on December 3 as part of the state government’s programmes to observe the Day, an official spokesperson said on Friday. Appointment letters to the newly recruited persons with disabilities would be handed over, in addition to distribution of wheelchairs and other aids, on the occasion.According to the spokesperson, the Chief Minister has issued detailed guidelines to the Chief Secretary and Special Chief Secretary (Social Security & Development of Women & Children) to clear the backlog of vacancies meant for persons with disability in a time-bound manner on top priority. Since the installation of the new government, the Social Security department has already identified 899 vacant posts in Group A, B, C and D for PWDs. As many as 272 disabled persons have been provided employment in the state government, with the remaining vacancies to be filled through the special recruitment drive ordered by the Chief Minister and already initiated.In another initiative for the welfare of PWDs, the Chief Minister has directed disability certificates to be issued promptly to them. According to estimates, there are nearly 6.54 lac disabled persons in Punjab, constituting 2.35% of the state’s total population of 2.77 crore as per the 2011 census. The state government has already issued 3.82 lac disability certificates till date, including 23,875 disability certificates issued during 2016-17. On the directive of Chief Minister, the Department of Social Security has also been asked to provide wheelchairs and other aids to disabled persons, the spokesperson further disclosed, adding that the Captain Amarinder government was committed to the welfare of all sections of the society, particularly the disadvantaged.Besides providing monthly disability pension of Rs. 750/- each to nearly 1.60 lac beneficiaries, it extends several facilities to the PWDs, including 50% bus fare concession in government buses and free travel facility to the visually impaired. The state government is also running special schools for disabled persons, in which 3428 Children with
Disabilities (CWDs) are enrolled from 1st to 8th standard and 233 are studying in 9th to 12th class. The students are given scholarship of Rs.600 per month by the Education Department. In addition, students upto 12th standard are also given textbooks free of cost.A special Braille printing press and an employment exchange for the disabled at Ludhiana are some of the other initiatives in place for these people. A total of 776 disabled unemployed are registered at the exchange while Braille Press is used for printing of Braille books as per Punjab School Education Board (PESB) for students upto 12th standard, free of cost. In addition, an unemployment allowance of Rs. 450/- upto 12th standard and Rs. 600/- above 12th standard is also being paid. As per the provision of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, the Housing & Urban Development Department provides 3% reservation in allotment of plots/flats to disabled persons, in addition to it 5% rebate in price of these Plots/Flats.
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