Jagatsinghpur, July 19 (LocalWire): Despite the central and state governments push for implementation of the Unique ID for persons with disabilities (UDID) programme, the physically challenged in the district are yet to benefit from it due to lack of awareness, ignorance and negligence of the local administration.
According to sources, of the 5,066 online applications for Unique Disability Identity Card received in the district, over 3,055 applications are still pending approvals at different stages.
While those who have already applied for the card have been complaining about the long waiting time, hundred others with disabilities are not even aware about UDID and, hence, have not registered their names online to benefit from it.
The UDID scheme was implemented in 2016 with a view of creating a national database for persons with disabilities (PWDs), and to issue a unique identity card to each person with disabilities that can be used to avail benefits for the PWDs.
The project is also aimed to streamline tracking of physical and financial progress of the beneficiary at all levels – from the village, block, district and state to the national level.
Sources indicate that the delay in processing the applications is due to the shortage of specialists at the district headquarter hospital and non-functioning of the District Disability Board (DDB).
Locals also blame the lack of coordination between health department and social security department, negligence of the administration and frequent transfer of Chief District Medical Officer for the delay and proper roll out of the UDID programme in the district.
The Board consists of specialists like mental health, orthopedics, ENT, eye, medicine and neurology and is responsible for conducting tests to check the degree of disability and issuing disability certificate accordingly.
However, sources indicate that the Board was non functional for over nine months – from February to October 2018 – due to lack of experts, which led to the non issuance of certificates and the delay.
Meanwhile, the district collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra has reviewed the programme and found a large number of irregularities that are causing the delay in issuing of the digital card to PWDs.
He has directed the chief district medical officer to ensure that the DDB meets at least four days instead of the scheduled two days in a month to clear all pending applications.
According to the district social security officer Abdul Wahid Khan, despite frequent reminders to all BDOs, and sarpanchs nothing has been done towards creating awareness about the programme. “We are now taking steps to create awareness at the village and panchayat level about UDID to all PWDs’,” he added.