• With just 55 to 60 District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRC) made functional so far out of the targeted 269 in designated districts, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment has said that it feels the Union government is “somewhat casual” in its approach to complete this task.
  • It said the government should lay down a proper road map with timelines for the execution of the work needed to establish the DDRCs in every district of the country as targeted.
  • However, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, in response to a question by Congress member T.N. Prathapan, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhoumik said that as of December 8, 269 DDRCs had been “set up” across the country.
  • The reply defined DDRCs set up as ones that have been given “funds at least once”.

Inherent deficiencies

  • The committee, in its report on the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday, said it had expected that the revised guidelines for the scheme would correct its “inherent deficiencies” and clear the path for setting up the targeted number of DDRCs.
  • “However, the concern expressed by the committee is not likely to get addressed even now after the revision of guidelines, as the department in its latest replies, has still not provided the current status of DDRCs,” the committee said.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had told the panel that it had increased the number of disabilities covered from seven to 21 in 2018 and that the revised guidelines for setting up the rest of the DDRCs would be implemented in 2022-23.
  • But the panel in its report tabled in the Winter Session, noted, “The committee is unable to understand as to how the department would process the proposals received from States/ UTs unless the guidelines are implemented.” It also expressed “strong doubt” about the early implementation of the revised guidelines as promised by the government.
  • Moreover, the panel said that the government’s defence of planning to set up model DDRCs for others to emulate “again has set no timelines for preparation of Model DDRCs features”.


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