Following the tragic but avoidable death of 6 year-old Meghala from D.J.Halli on July 17th 2013 due to malnutrition, the increased focus on the social indicators in D.J.Halli revealed a high incidence of disability in the area. At the public hearing on 12th December 2013 at DJ Halli, several differently-abled persons shared the issues they faced with regard to access to disability pension and other schemes. The jury said that this was a human rights violation and the District disability welfare officer (DDWO) for Bangalore urban, Mr. G. Mohan promised to do a survey within the next two months to ascertain the needs of the community.
While this promise was not met, repeated reminders from the community members and volunteers ensured that the survey finally took place for 12 days between June 9th and July 1st, 2014, after a delay of almost 5 months. With the disability department providing only around 2 or 3 surveyors on any given day, even best efforts of the community members could not ensure 100% coverage of D.J.Halli. Consequently, the survey has missed many differently-abled persons. According to the estimated incidence of disability (~ 4 -5%), for a combined population of one lakh across wards 47, 48 and slum portions of ward 61, it was expected that at least 4000 differently-abled persons will be enlisted. As against that, only 733 differently-abled people were enlisted on the conclusion of the survey.
Following up on the survey, the District Disability Welfare Office is now organizing a camp for the differently-abled, to ensure the immediate needs of the hundreds of differentlyabled surveyed are met. Government doctors will be a part of the camp and will screen and diagnose common disabilities such as hearing loss, vision loss, locomotor handicap, mental retardation and mental illness and issue medical certificates. At the camp, the differently-abled will also be able to apply for their disability certificates, disability pension, and any aid devices, such as crutches, wheelchair and hearing aids, which will be distributed by the government at a later date.
This camp will take place on August 11th and 12th 2014, at the Kannada School near the D.J.Halli PHC (Primary Health Center, locally referred to as the Maidan Hospital), from 10 am to 5 pm, and will be supported by the Movement for Basic Rights, D.J.Halli.
The content is provided by Karthik Ranganathan on behalf of Movement for Basic Rights and has been published as is, under the Message Forward section, a space meant for non-profit messages by individuals and organisations.