Welfare Schemes for Persons with Disabilities
Article 21 of our Indian Constitution states that “Protection of Life and Personal Liberty: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.”
Among the many different ways and scenarios, the law has been interpreted, there is one that states-
A person’s life is not just about the right to survive. It is something more than surviving or animal existence. It also entails being able to live a complete life of dignity and meaning. Dignity and meaning are the two things the government is aiming to provide through the Chief MinistergiShotharabasingiTengbang (CMST).
CHIEF MINISTERGI SHOTHARABASINGI TENGBANG (CMST):
The 2011 census puts the total number of people suffering from disabilities in Manipur at 54,110(fifty-four thousand, one hundred ten). And we can safely assume that the number would have increased by 2020. To help people who may have been dealt the wrong hand in life is not only the social but even moral responsibility of a government. CMST is a step in the right direction. There are five ways, our Hon’ble Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, has planned to assist those in need. The details of them are given below:
- CARE GIVER ALLOWANCE/ MAINTENANCE GRANT:Under this, a monthly grant of ₹ 1500/- will be provided to people who meet the eligibility criteria.
- Persons with a disability should be a domicile of the State and should possess a disability certificate issued by a competent authority.
- All persons with benchmark disabilities including Autism spectrum disorder shall be eligible for the scheme.
- In case of Mental Illness, Locomotor Disability, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle Cell disease, the degree of disability should not be less than 80% with a permanent disability.
- In case of visual impairment, the degree of disability should be 100% and in the age group of 19-59 years.
- MARRIAGE INCENTIVE AWARD:Under this scheme, an allowance of ₹ 30000/- will be given to person/s who meet the required eligibility criteria.
- Applicant should be bonafide citizen of Manipur
- The marriage should take place in Manipur
- The marriage should be registered with the Registrar of Marriage
- The bridegroom has completed the age of 21 (twenty-one) years and the bride the age of 18 (eighteen) years
- The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship
- Neither of the party is mentally unstable.
- At least one of the parties to the marriage should be a person with a disability and shall be supported by the certificate issued by the Competent Authority/Medical Board.
- SCHOLARSHIPS FOR STUDENT:
An annual scholarship amount ranging from ₹3000/- to ₹8000/- will be provided to students in need of help in their studies.
- Any disabled student (possessing disability certificate issued by competent authority) reading in Govt. or Recognized Private
- Institutions from Class –I onwards.
4. FREE TRAVEL CARD:
A free travel card will be provided that will be valid in Manipur state transport.
Eligibility: Any disable person possessing disability certificate issued by competent authority can avail this benefit.
- UNEMPLOYMENT ALLOWANCE:An unemployment allowance of ₹400/- to ₹1000/- per month will be provided by the government.
Eligibility: A disabled person who is having disability certificate issued from the Competent authority, not less than matriculate, age between 18-48 years, registered in the Special Employment Exchange and who is not occupied in any gainful occupation is eligible for Unemployment Allowance.
HOW TO APPLY
Application forms are made available throughout the year in the District Offices, Directorate Office for all the mentioned welfare schemes. Additionally, for Care Giver Allowance/Maintenance Grant and Free Travel Card under CMST, application forms are also available during MeeyamgiNumit at Chief Minister’s Darbar Hall.
The benefits of providing welfare cannot be understated. A country or a state grows together with its people. As a citizen and a human being, you can only feel proud of seeing a government take steps to help the people in need. It provides the people dealing with a disability an ability to achieve milestones they may have felt to be impossible. The Care Giver Allowance/ Maintenance grant along with the Unemployment Allowance can help them be independent financially for their basic necessities.
The Scholarship for Students provides the opportunity to educate themselves. Humans are social animals and the need for companionship is within each one of us. The Marriage Incentive Award is a step towards making people with disabilities feel a part of society. As well as it awards people who look beyond disabilities and sees the person and their qualities and accept them for who they are.
All these schemes in short term help a few thousand people. But when we take a step back and look at the broader benefits of CMST, we realise that it goes a long way in normalising disabilities in society and how we look at them. It makes them self-reliant and provides them with opportunities to grow. It gives them a chance at a respectable life. And sometimes all a person needs for happiness is a chance and some respect. And that’s what CMST is: a chance mixed in with a little respect.