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Annapurna relief for special kids

Water resources, social welfare, women and child development minister Annapurna Devi, in Jamshedpur on Wednesday to review work under her departments, asked officials to hold special camps in districts and distribute disability certificates among physically and mentally challenged children.

Annapurna took the decision after coming to know many special children couldn’t get their certificates from civil surgeon’s offices in cities as they stayed in villages and were too poor to travel.

A disability certificate makes its owner eligible for government benefits.

Annapurna also asked child development project officers (CDPOs) to arrange the children’s commute to camps and to help them get certificates without fuss.

“We have been receiving complaints from districts that disabled children of Naxalite hit and remote areas face problems in getting disability certificates. They need to travel and stay in the city for almost a day to attend camps at civil surgeon’s offices. Disabled children often lack resources to come to city. Henceforth, the CDPOs will arrange their travel to special camps, bearing the cost,” Annapurna said.

She added the CDPOs would start the process of holding camps from July.

Now, the CDPOs will survey their respective command areas to identify special children and submit findings to the district social welfare department concerned.

The department, in turn, will finalise locations of special camps on specific dates. Then, CDPOs will step in to bring children to the camps.

The minister also said anganwadi sevikas and CDPOs had been asked to speak with Panchayat Raj Institution representatives to find out why fewer children attend anganwadi kendras. Each CDPO will hold a social audit in two panchayats on the matter.

Anganwadi kendras come under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme to combat hunger and malnutrition and offer basic healthcare and preschool learning to rural children.

She also said the long-delayed Rs 6,613 crore Subernarekha Multipurpose Project would be complete by 2015.

Answering a query, the RJD leader added they would fight the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha election with the UPA.