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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Disability dept: In 14 yrs, only 1 commissioner completed tenure : PUNE

The Sanyukt Apang Suraksha Samiti said that the government should appoint a person sensitive to issues to implement the schemes.

In the last 14 years, just one Commissioner for the department for welfare of the disabled has been able to complete the mandatory three-year term, while around 25 times, officers have been transferred before tenure much to the ire of activists fighting for th cause of differently abled. Even as 10 IAS officers assumed charge, they were transferred in one or two years, with additional charge given to officials of the social welfare department.

Even as the government announced new schemes for differently abled, the officer to implement it is transferred leaving most schemes unimplemented. The one officer able to complete the term is BR Jadhav.

“After the Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, 1995 came about the government formed the department in 2000. However, it seems the government is not very serious with this appointments as the commissioners are transferred immediately before they can roll out any scheme. There is much to be done and the key person who has to give sanctions is continuously transferred. This is injustice on the differently abled,” said activist Hari Shinde who has written about it to the government.

While the department has to address issues pertaining to differently abled, which include mentally challenged, visually challenged, hearing and speech impaired and persons with locomotor disability, and carry out schemes and rehabilitation, the differently abled complain that without a “steady head” to roll out these programmes, a lot of work is pending.

“By the time a commissioner takes charge and understands the issue and is about to implement the scheme, he is shifted. Even the recent transfer of commissioner DS Rajurkar was done in six months and a new commissioner has taken over,’’ points out the activist.

Even as a proposal is pending with the government since January for separate officers to implement schemes, start new initiatives and hear appeals, the government has not taken any action.
Senior officials maintain that there are requests from officials for transfer or many a time, the government decides to move the officer.

“There is an issue regarding disability commissioner not serving the full term. Activists have pointed it out to us. We will look into the matter,” said the official.

The Sanyukt Apang Suraksha Samiti said that the government should appoint a person sensitive to issues to implement the schemes.

“There is no point in appointing persons who see this as a side posting and are not committed to work,’” said a member.

From 2000, the first commissioner appointed by the state was CA Pathak who served only for two years and additional charge was given to MH Sawant. In the same year, 2002, CA Pathak was appointed and transferred within four months. He was replaced by Sonia Sethi who served only for two months followed by Dr Sanjay Chahande who served for a little more than a year.

“Most transfers happened within a year with other officials in the department or the social welfare department given additional charge,” pointed out Shinde. 

Source : The Indian Express , 27th August 2014

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