By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 4: The president of the Khasi Disability Association (KDA), Starwin Kharjana said the state government has taken steps to ensure 4% of jobs in various government departments are reserved for the differently-abled.
He told reporters here on Monday that jobs for people with disabilities (PwDs) have been reserved when the government issued an office memorandum for the implementation of the roster system.
Posts for PwDs would also henceforth be indicated in advertisements by the Meghalaya Public Service Commission, he said.
“We would want to see the District Selection Committees also try to follow the MPSC. We urge the government to issue a necessary directive to reserve 4% of the jobs for the differently-abled in the districts,” Kharjana said.
He rued the delay in the inclusion of the new PwD beneficiaries under the Chief Minister’s Social Assistance Scheme started in 2012. The monthly financial assistance of Rs 750 has helped the differently-abled, he said.
Kharjana said members of the KDA met Social Welfare Minister, Paul Lyngdoh and submitted an eight-point charter of demands some time ago.
“We were assured that the state government will examine these demands. We are yet to get any response from the government,” he said.
Lyngdoh said the major government departments have started implementing the 4% job reservation for the PwDs and that the government is in the process of talking to various stakeholders vis-à-vis the charter of their demands.
“It is a complex issue. I told them that we would examine their memorandum. We are planning to have another round of discussion with various organisations on this charter of demands,” the minister said.
Earlier in the day, Lyngdoh said 22 government buildings have been made accessible for the PwDs.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark the International Day for PwDs at the Soso Tham auditorium, he said the government received 61 more proposals to make the buildings disabled-friendly.
“We plan to make more government buildings accessible to the PwDs by the end of this fiscal year,” he said.
Lyngdoh also said there will be a review meeting with the district heads and officials of the departments of Social Welfare and Education in the second week of January to clear the pending proposals.
When told that many educational institutions are yet to have facilities for the PwDs, he said the government is trying to comply with this “new concept”.
“This is a new challenge but we will work in tandem with the other line departments, especially Education, to transform things. The coverage is not yet satisfactory. We are determined to accelerate,” Lyngdoh said, adding that officials have been told to make the major tourist sites accessible to the PwDs.
On the occasion, the office of the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities felicitated the director of Sanker Rehabilitation Centre, Sandi Syiem with the Champion of Mental Health Advocacy Award and Carmo Noronha from Bethany Society with the Leader of Equality Award.
The Meghalaya blind women’s football team was awarded the Inclusive Sportsmanship Award, Rupari Nongrum with Inspirational Artist Award, St Edmund’s College with Trailblazer in Accessibility Award, Sengrang G Momin with the Inclusive Media Representation Award and Ibadalin with the Literary Award.
The awards were handed over by the social welfare minister. Empowerfest-2023 was organised by the office of the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in collaboration with the State Resource Centre to mark the day.