‘Ability model’ moves Delhi - How mobile courts, awareness camps helped the disabled

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By SUDHIR KUMAR MISHRA
  • Published 13.06.12
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Ranchi, June 12: Jharkhand has proved it is both willing and able where disposing complaints related to physical disability is concerned.

In the past three years (2008-11), the state received 10,095 complaints and disposed of 9,414 cases, a feat that has impressed none other than Mukul Balkrishna Wasnik, Union minister for social justice and empowerment.

A two-day meet in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan, hosted by Union social justice and empowerment ministry, and starting from tomorrow, will discuss the Jharkhand success model extensively.

Wasnik will preside over the discussions where disability commissioners of different states will take part.

“The Jharkhand model will be discussed at the very start of the opening session tomorrow. Progress made by Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura will also be analysed. Our PowerPoint presentation is ready,” said state disability commissioner Satish Chandra before leaving for New Delhi.

Most complainants in Jharkhand brought up problems such as denial of jobs despite reservation, government benefits that were withheld or physical disability certificates that were issued late or with a demand for bribe thrown in.

Jharkhand displayed a rare efficiency by converging conventional modes of redress — grievances filed with the state disability commissioner’s office that were looked into — with new-age mobile courts and awareness camps to tackle as many cases as fast as possible.

A critical look into records made available by state disability commissioner’s office suggests that out of 4,542 complaints directly filed by the aggrieved, 4,270 cases were disposed. Another 5,553 complaints were received at mobile courts, of which 5,144 were dealt with.

Citing an instance, Chandra said a disabled person had recently approached him saying he was being denied a Class III vacancy in the health department. Officials concerned had initially pleaded that the person was ineligible for reservation since it was a contractual job. “I told them that the rules were applicable. The applicant got the job,” he said.

Chandra added that while holding a mobile court in Hazaribagh, he learnt that a clerk at the district’s civil surgeon office demanded money to issue disability certificates. “I made him tender an unconditional apology in public. Then, I recommended appropriate action against him,” he said, adding that of the 362 complaints received by his office in Hazaribagh, all were disposed of.

Chandra said that awareness was growing across the state. “Nine hundred complaints were received at a Giridih mobile court and all were disposed. I intend to launch a massive publicity drive for smooth redress of grievances by the disabled,” he added.