Amid the lockdown that started on March 25 to reduce the spread of novel Coronavirus in the country, differently-abled persons are finding it difficult to fulfil their daily needs like food availability and medicine. Executive Director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) Arman Ali highlighted the plight of the differently-abled people while speaking to news agency ANI.
He said, "The daily survival has become a fight. Even they are not able to have food availability and medicine. Most of the differently-abled persons live in rural areas. Differently-abled persons in urban areas are somehow able to survive."
"But those who are poor and their identity is a daily struggle, are finding it difficult to survive in this lockdown. There is a lack of awareness among the differently-abled persons regarding lockdown," Ali added.
However, he pointed out that he has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for implementation of guidelines issued by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and an economic package should be given during the lockdown along with a hike in pension.
"Awareness should be increased through electronic and print media," he added. "Most of the differently-abled people are under stress regarding food and medicine and employment. There is lack of awareness... We want our dignity. We have requested the Prime Minister to look into the matter. There should be an economic package for the disabled. I hope Prime minister will listen to us," Ali further said.
The Centre on March 27 issued a "comprehensive disability-inclusive guidelines" to all the states and Union Territories (UTs) for protection and safety of persons with disabilities in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment issued the guidelines as persons with disabilities are more vulnerable to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) due to their physical, sensory and cognitive limitations.
The guidelines stresses the need to understand disability-specific requirements, daily living activities and appropriate and timely measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disability in risk situations.
(With ANI inputs)