Sport is a strong tool to overcome the stigma attached to the disabled community and rehabilitate Persons with Disability to mainstream society. To make sports for the disabled inclusive, the Union sports ministry has planned to spend Rs 83.7 lakh under the Khelo India initiative. The Centre for Disability Sports is also coming up in Gwalior. The foundation stone of ‘Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh’ was laid at a function organized by DEPwD, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The proposed Centre will make available specialized training facilities for Persons with Disabilities. The Centre will provide facilities of international standards to sports persons with disabilities to compete at the international level and bring laurels for the country.
The year 2021 has welcomed refreshing change with the formation of the Disability Cricket Council of India (DCCI) including the wheelchair Cricket India, Blind Cricket India and Physically challenged cricket association. Not just that the DCCI came under the BCCI umbrella. Last year, during the Indian Premier League, an education-tech firm roped in Deepa Malik, a silver medallist in Paralympics, for an advertisement. Manasi Joshi, a para-badminton player, also made it to the cover of Time’s Asia edition.
But still, not enough is being done. The government needs to invest more time into policymaking for the stakeholder to overcome the battles of hardships.
Establishment of five “Divyangta Khel Kendras”-
In the latest attempt towards inclusive sports, the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment will establish five ’Divyangta Khel Kendra’ in different parts of the country, out of which Ahmedabad City is identified to open one of such facilities. Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot has said that looking at the interest towards the sports among the People with Disabilities in the country and their good performance in Paralympics, the ministry has decided to move ahead in this direction.
Virtually addressing the ‘Samajik Adhikarita Shivir’ for distribution of aids and assistive devices to ‘Divyangjan’ under the Assistance to Disabled Persons (ADIP) Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India in Jamnagar, Gujarat today, the Minister informed that the central government has released Rs 8.06 crore fund to Gujarat under Scholarship program benefitting 2808 beneficiaries. He said, 709 Railway stations, 10,175 Bus Stations and 683 websites have been covered under Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan. He added that work on the National Mental Health Rehabilitation Center in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh, has been started by CPWD.
Aids and Assistive devices-
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister, Gujarat said that the society which does not care about persons with Disabilities is itself a disabled society. He said that in the year 2016 the Right to Persons with Disability Act was brought in, which not only provided more security but also ensured and protected the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities across the nation. The Chief Minister underlined the need for empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and to bring them into the mainstream of society for the overall development of the country.
The Shivir was organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) in association with ALIMCO and District Administration Jamnagar. A total of 6225 aids and assistive devices valued at Rs.3.57 crore will be distributed free of cost to 3805 persons with Disabilities at Block/Panchayat levels. In view of COVID 19, out of a total of 3805 pre-identified Divyang beneficiaries, Aids and Assistive Devices were provided to approx 50 beneficiaries of Jamnagar city block in the inaugural distribution camp today. The remaining identified beneficiaries will be provided with their prescribed assistive devices subsequently at their nearest respective Blocks at their location in a series of follow-up distribution camps in Jamnagar and Devbhumi Dwarka districts.
Different types of assistive devices which are to be distributed among identified Person with Disabilities Registered during assessment camps at Block Level includes 220 Motorised Tricycles, 665 Tricycles, 385 Wheelchairs, 998 Crutches, 621 Walking Sticks, 60 Rollators, 185 SmartPhones, 437 Smart Canes, 40 Daisy Players, 24 Braille Kits, 06 Braille Canes, 163 C. P Chairs, 856 MSIED Kits, 165 ADL Kits (for leprosy) with 60 Cell phones, 606 Hearing Aids, 765 Artificial Limbs and Callipers, etc.
The camps are conducted under the Scheme of ADIP for Purchase/Fitting of Aid/Appliances. ADIP is one of the most popular schemes for providing assistive aids and appliances to persons with Disabilities and is organized by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
The government should address the needs of filling the gaps of technology and its beneficiary and focusing on advocating policies that converge with rehabilitation measures such as encouraging sports participation and sports academies and well-furnished training centres for a person with disabilities.