Not words, but action needed
The government is all set to roll out the Jammu and Kashmir Right of Persons with Disabilities bill, 2018. The bill which will come into existence after some formalities presents a rosy picture of what the specially abled people in Jammu and Kashmir are entitled to and whet benefits these people can avail.
Being a right-thinking citizens one should hold no ill will or preconceived notions about the intentions of the government or what they plan to do regarding the promises that have been offered in the bill. Ranging from free healthcare at the doorstep to the individuals with disabilities, the government by virtue of the bill, is set to provide essential medical facilities for life-saving emergency treatment and procedures to such individuals.
The bill promises barrier-free access in all parts of Government and private hospitals and other healthcare institutions and centres.
While there is no system in place which would ensure priority basis attendance and treatment to the patients, in this case, patients with disabilities, the bill promises priority in attendance and treatment.
The bill it is learnt has also incorporated some clauses to ensure social security of the specially abled people by providing a comprehensive insurance scheme to them.
Moreover, the bill states that the Government and the local authorities shall take measures and make schemes or programmes to promote health care and prevent the occurrence of disabilities and for the said purpose shall undertake or cause to be undertaken surveys, investigations and research concerning the cause of occurrence of disabilities.
Well the bill seems all music to the ears as of now. But the real taste of the pudding as they say and (in this case the bill) will come to the fore once it is implemented. And before that actually takes shape the government and its planners should have done some home work on the actual scenario that has been telling upon the very survival of the specially abled people.
As of now the specially abled have no job reservations and incase some of them make it to the merit list on their own their chances of joining are marred by seeking various NOC’s which of course they cannot fulfill.
Secondly, the services that these people have a right to avail are proving a proverbial ‘mirage in a desert’ as none of these services have ever been made available on ground here.
Even a medico was recently shunted out of the super-speciality hospital in Srinagar when he wrote to the Principal Government Medical College seeking construction of a ramp for the specially abled people who are facing tremendous challenge to reach the Physical Medicine Department at the hospital.
The Principal was rude enough to snub the medico saying that he was trying to create problems for her and therefore preferred to close the centre rather paying a heed to the request of the medico.
Such being then ground situation the government needs to first initiate a massive plan to make available all the services before going in for promises that they will find hard to fulfill after the bill is passed.