News

Volume 6 Issue 10 - November 01, 2009

Efforts to connect disability certificate to Unique Identification Number

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: D.N.I.S. had reported in August that N.C.P.E.D.P. got in touch with Nandan Nilekani, Chairperson, Unique Identification Authority of India (U.I.D.A.I.) on the possibility of connecting the issue of disability certificates with the Unique Identification Number. In a pleasant surprise, Nilekani called up Javed Abidi, Honorary Director, N.C.P.E.D.P. recently and sent his emissary Deepika Mogilishetty to discuss this possibility further.

Although, Nilekani has clarified that U.I.D.A.I. will only be issuing a number and not a card, Abidi is of the view that if a synergy could be developed between the enumeration process under Census 2011, the Unique Identification Number project and disability certificates, millions of disabled people could be benefited.

U.I.D.A.I. endeavours to identify each and every resident of India. This includes all the invisible population who till now do not have any access to ration cards, driving licenses, passports, Voter I.D. cards, etc. This includes migratory population, vulnerable groups, etc.

N.C.P.E.D.P. has also advocated for the inclusion of a question on disability during the Unique Identification Number enumeration process.

How dismal the efforts of the government have been towards people with disabilities can be easily gauged from the fact that even 63 years after Independence, not even 10 percent of disabled people have a disability certificate! That is because getting one is near impossible. A disabled person has to run around some government/district hospital 3 to 5 times to meet a panel of doctors to get the certificate. And the waiting period is anywhere between 3 to 6 months!

Mogilishetty was hopeful that a joint meeting at the Planning Commission with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment could help streamline all the 3 major issues: enumeration of disabled people during Census 2011, issuance of the Unique Identification Number to them and in turn, the issuance of a disability certificate as well.

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