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SHILLONG: The Social Welfare Department has welcomed the recent announcement of Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot to set up a sports stadium of international standard for persons with disability and a composite regional centre in Meghalaya.
The composite regional centre for persons with disabilities is a service modality set under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, with the aim of creating resources and infrastructure required for developing services for persons with disabilities.
A senior government official dealing with the social welfare schemes said on Saturday that the initiative will be a boost to the state.
Earlier, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the idea for the stadium started three to four months back when he had met the union minister and discussed an array of issues and received good response and support.
According to Conrad the state was lucky to get one of the five stadiums that will be utilised during the Games.
More than 7,300 camps for the disabled have been organised in the country since 2014 where 12 lakh beneficiaries have been aided and goods worth Rs 650 crore have been distributed.
The ministry has now come up with a new act for Persons with Disability (PwDs) that has 21 categories of disabilities as against seven in the previous act.
The Union Minister Gehlot had said the Centre will introduce universal cards for PwDs by next year.
During the function on Friday, goods worth Rs 3.49 crore were distributed among 4,635 beneficiaries. In Tura, more than 2,700 beneficiaries got aids and appliances worth Rs 3.44 crore. “We will organise these camps in other districts as well,” the Union minister said.
Earlier, Sangma said there were many schemes for PwDs but only in paper and that policy for PwDs must be implemented.
State Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla said as per the 2011 census, there are 44,317 PwDs in Meghalaya and 6,751 of them are in urban areas.