The blockade poses challenges for people with disabilities despite the 'curfew' protocol

NEW DELHI: At 40, Piyush Nigam from Lucknow is left alone and an 80% disabled wheelchair user. When she complained to the Social Justice Ministry's Department for the Empowerment of People with Disabilities that she is not getting a curfew for her caregiver, as she is unable to travel to the SDM office to apply, DEPwD intervened and contacted UP State Disabilities Commission to bring authorities to your home to collect documents and issue a pass. DEPwD has asked state authorities to speed up the process to issue the pass on a priority basis.

Noting that he has been dealing with all complaints brought before state authorities, DEPwD Secretary Shakuntala D Gamlin told TOI that a network of state commissions has been created to ensure field outreach and interstate coordination. of disability. At the state level, help lines have been established, he added. As a follow-up to DEPwD's warnings on the safety of persons with disabilities in the fight against Covid-19, district magistrates have been authorized to issue passes, including electronic passes for caregivers, at verification by legal guardians of the disabled person. or by civil society organizations, if the PwD is unable to apply or submit an application.

It turns out that in the case of Piyush Nigam, after DEPwD's intervention, he was told to apply online since state authorities had discontinued the offline pass system in Lucknow since April 2, 2020. Nigam expressed his inability To Apply Online, Disability The Lucknow District Officer then delegated someone to collect all the information and documents and registered the application online. DEPwD has asked the authorities to issue the pass with priority.

However, things are not easy even for all those who have curfews or letters from district authorities authorizing caregivers. Virali Modi, a speaker and motivational model based in Mumbai, an activist for the rights of the disabled, started a petition on addressed to the Interior Minister. Amit Shah and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, stressing that it is necessary to issue a government permit to priority caregivers to allow them access to the disabled person without problems.

Speaking to TOI, Modi, who uses a wheelchair, shared that she lives alone and that the woman who supports her lives 3 kilometers away. Although the caregiver has a letter from the authorities, bus transportation does not acknowledge that it is extremely difficult to communicate with her.

In his petition, he notes that “in the absence of accessible public facilities and assistive technologies, the disabled need human assistance. But social distancing makes it difficult, especially those of us who live alone. Some of us are struggling to access our basic medical supplies, such as catheters and urine bags.

After the blockade went into effect, DEPwD issued guidelines to Union states and territories to issue passes to caregivers on a priority basis. The state commissioner for disabilities was requested to become the nodal officer to resolve specific disability problems during the crisis period, and states were asked to establish help lines.