The social welfare department of the Bihar government has directed the electricity department to provide rebates to institutions for training, treatment and accommodation of persons with physical disabilities similar to what is being given to the institutions meant for the welfare of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
The disabilities commissioner has also asked the department concerned to make the direction effective and submit the status report in a couple of weeks.
“Organisations working for the specially-abled (Divyaangs) have been requesting for electricity at subsidised rate. In fact, organisations working for the scheduled castes and tribes have already been given this facility. This can be extended to the groups working for Divyaangs,” Shivaji Kumar, disabilities commissioner, said.
Letters in this direction have been sent to the electricity department and the managing director of the North Bihar and South Bihar Power Distribution Companies a couple of days ago and they have been asked to submit a compliance report by April 16, he added.
Vinod Bhanti, an expert in artificial limb making, said many institutions start working for physically challenged people but fail to sustain after some time and one of the main reasons is the high electricity charges on commercial rates.
“The population of Divyaangs in the state is quite high and even in this population, the percentage of disabled children is quite high. We need more and more institutions and organisations to work for them,” he said.
The percentage of disabled persons in the state out of the country’s total population of physically challenged is 8.69%, as per the Census 2011. And in the population of physically challenged, 12.48% are children (0-6years) which is the highest in the country, Bhanti said.
News Source: Hindustan Times