| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
A SWOT analysis was carried out with PwDs, Institutions, NGOs and officials of other departments involved in the welfare of PwDs. The group analyzed the key issues, problems, strengths and shortcomings of the prevailing system of governance, and opportunities and potential threats. During the analysis, it emerged that the objectives could be achieved by running a massive grass-root level campaign backed by politicians, bureaucracy, NGOs and all sections of the society.
i. The findings of the SWOT analysis and strategy were placed before the cabinet and a decision was taken to take up focused action for the welfare and empowerment of the PwDs in mission mode as a special campaign. It was named and branded as “SPARSH ABHIYAN”. The campaign was launched as the integrated welfare and empowerment project for the target population of PwDs.
ii. It was also decided that the campaign should be seen as a social and public campaign and not as a government campaign so that it has the support of all sections of the society.
iii. District level committees for implementation of SPARSH Campaign were notified to ensure its social nature and full support of all sections of the society. It included all MPs/MLAs, Chairperson of District Panchayat/Janpad Panchayat, Mayor/corporators of Urban Local bodies, Chairperson of ‘Krishi Upaj Mandis’, vice- Chairpersons of district Antyodaya committee, District coordinator of district Jan Abhiyaan Parishad (NGO), Dean of Medical College, District Education Officer, Civil Surgeon of the district hospital.
iv. It was observed that PwDs and their family members often do not come forward and acknowledge their disabilities and often avoid seeking support due to psychological and other fears. They are thus not registered in government records. This tendency was prevalent as the public thought PwDs to be a second grade citizen and less human being than other normal persons. A massive campaign was undertaken to remove this taboo by educating all citizens on issue of disability and thus creating an enabling environment in which PwDs and their family members came forwarded without any hesitation and got themselves identified and registered as PwDs for seeking further assistance from Govt. schemes.
v. Ran a massive awareness campaign using Print, Radio, TV and other mediums to create awareness on the rights specified under ‘Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 so as to facilitate an environment for Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation to PwDs
vi. Followed a holistic approach consisting of multifarious activities: education, healthcare, skill training, capacity building courses and enhancing employment opportunities etc. to realize aim of integrating persons with and without disabilities.
vii. a door-to-door survey conduct in State to identify and register the PwDs.
viii. Detailed formats for the survey of the PwDs designed in consultations with medical professionals, education and other stake-holders/agencies involved in the services to PwDs
ix. Massive training program organized to train the surveyors on their behavior, attitude towards PwDs, persuasion skills, identification of the disabilities and their categorization so that they could independently record the details in the technical format for survey.
x. Conducted a detailed household survey of all families located in over 1 lac habitations of the State to identity the persons with disabilities and other target groups. Such a massive exercise was to be undertaken for the first time in country. SPARSH Card was issued on the spot by the surveyor. The detailed profiles of the PwDs and details of disabilities and their needs and other requirements were recorded. The requirements in respect of following was collected:
a. Medical examination by the experts
b. Need of Disability certificate
c. Requirement of Corrective and other Surgery
d. Requirements of the equipment/aids/appliances
e. Assistance for education and professional training
f. Requirement of scholarships
g. Requirement of Assistance under various Government Schemes
h. Assistance required for employment
i. Assistance required for loan/self-employment/empowerment
j. Legal Guardianship
k. Requirement of pensions
xi. Detailed State-wide house-hold survey ensured the identification and registration of all PwDs & Mentally Retarded Persons and Persons with Multiple Disabilities that are not capable of earning their livelihood and do not have any legal guardian or relative (blood relation). This was done to draft a detailed action plan for their welfare and rehabilitation.
xii. Organized special SPARSH Service Camps at District and block /local body- level:
a. facilitated the medical examination by experts and ascertain needs of PwDs
b. issued temporary/ permanent Disability certificates on the spot
c. took measurements for calipers, artificial limb, orthopedic shoes by the experts of the concerned agency
d. provided assistive devices/cycles/wheel chairs/tricycles/hearing aids, spectacles, sticks
e. identified & registered PwDs for further remedial/corrective surgery & educated them about process
f. guided the PwDs on professional trainings and employment opportunities
g. educated the PwDs on various schemes/facilities available for employment/self employment
h. Separate stall manned by the concerned dept officials were placed for each of the government Scheme for PwDs to create wider awareness about the schemes and rules
i. Distributed the good quality and useful items/aids contributed by donors/NGOs
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
- Department of Social Justice, Rural Development and Panchayats
- Directorate Social Justice
- District Collectors
- Joint Director/Dy Director, District Social Justice Office
- Urban Local bodies: Nagar Nigams, Nagar Palikas, Nagar Panchayats or Wards
- Rural Area: Janpad Panchayats & Gram Panchayat
- Deptt. Institution ,NGOs are working for welfare of PwDs
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
- District level committees for implementation of SPARSH Campaign were notified to ensure its social nature and full support of all sections of the society. It included all MPs/MLAs, Chairperson of District Panchayat/Janpad Panchayat, Mayor/corporators of Urban Local bodies, Chairperson of ‘Krishi Upaj Mandis’, vice- Chairpersons of district Antyodaya committee, District coordinator of district Jan Abhiyaan Parishad (NGO), Dean of Medical College, District Education
-Ran a massive awareness campaign using Print, Radio, TV and other mediums to create awareness on the rights specified under ‘Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 so as to facilitate an environment for Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation to PwDs Officer, Civil Surgeon of the district hospital.
-Massive training program organized to train the surveyors on their behavior, attitude towards PwDs, persuasion skills, identification of the disabilities and their categorization so that they could independently record the details in the technical format for survey.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Special SPARSH Camps
- 1056 special “SPARSH’ camps were organized at district and block level to create awareness amongst masses and extend required benefits/assistance on the spot. The camps were attended by PwDs, their family members, all concerned government functionaries, doctors, NGOs, Local leaders and respected persons of the society.
- During the camps, Medical teams conducted medical examination and offered advice. They assessed the needs for aids/equipments, remedial/corrective surgery etc. Disability certificates were issued on the spot. Government Officials informed about the rights of PwDs, schemes being run by Govt., and offered other required assistance/guidelines to the persons.
- Improvement in measurable indicators: Over 5.53 lac persons participated in SPARSH camps and got benefited. Aids/devices were also issued to the registered PwDs during the camps.
Disability certificates for PwDs
- Simplified procedures: As a part of the SPARSH Campaign, a notification was issued by the Government on 16.09.2011 for the simplification of the process involved in the issue of Disability Certificates to the PwDs.
- Special camps were organized at district/block level to facilitate medical examination of all identified and registered PwDs. All members of the medical board were present in the camps and this allowed the issue of Disability Certificates on the spot during the camp.
- Improvement in measurable indicators: Over 4.31 lac registered PwDs with more than 40% disability were issued disability certificate on the spot after examination by the medical board
- Mega corrective /remedial surgery camps organized at divisional level with the help of leading hospitals
Improvement in measurable indicators: Over 4541 corrective/remedial surgeries undertaken. Free follow-up medial assistance in their place of residence was after surgery.
- Special SPARSH camps were organized at district/block level for distribution of the aids/devices.
- Improvement in measurable indicators: Artificial limbs/aids/equipments/instruments provided to over 57,871 persons as per their requirements & entitlements. Number has increased over four times since previous year (15,000).
- A subsidized loan @4% was offered to facilitate higher education for PwDs.
- Started special wings for imparting Skill Development related trainings to PwDs in 5 ITI ‘s of the State. Special trades suitable for PwDs were offered for training.
- Improvement in measurable indicators: Issued circular for reservation of 6% for PwDs in ITI‘s / Polytechnics of the State.
As per the section 32 and 33 of chapter 6 of ‘PwDs Act, 1995, 3% of the total posts in all government departments have to be reserved for persons with disabilities. (1 % each for Hearing Impaired, Vision Impaired and Orthopaedic). Govt of India has 3% reservations for PwDs.
Improvement in measurable indicators: As a part of SPARSH campaign, the State Govt Issued notification on 21.09.11 and 02.12.2011 to raise the special reservation quota for PwDs from 3% to 6% (2 % each for Hearing Impaired, Vision Impaired and Orthopaedic).
Improvement in measurable indicators: A special recruitment drive was launched to enforce the above special reservation by various departments. As a result 12,124 posts were identified and reserved for PwDs.
Regular Monitoring and review was done to fill vacant posts reserved for PwDs in various departments.
Improvement in measurable indicators:
The special drive and regular monitoring by Chief Secretary under the SPARSH Abhiyaan has helped in filling-up of 3163 posts in Govt sector and 2864 persons in private sector.
• Further, the Government issues orders allowing Additional Casual Leave of 10 days for PwDs.
• Special Travel allowance was also increased for the PwDs in employed in the Government sector.
Special SPARSH Job fairs were organized for PwDs at division level. Over 2120 Persons participated and 912 persons were recruited.
Self Employment: Improvement in measurable indicators:
Special Quota of 6% was enforced for all self-employment schemes being run by government.
Analysis of the detailed profile of the PwDs allowed the identification of PwDs that have potential to take-up self employment or had indicated their interest for self employment. Such PwDs were approached by the officials for assisting them in self employment by providing the benefits/loans under various govt schemes.
Proactive action has allowed the sanction loans of Rs. 67 lacs to 64 PwDs for self employment by National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC).
- The campaign has helped in identification of 16,940 persons for providing assistance for self-employment under various government schemes like Prime Minister’s Employment Scheme, Swarn Jayanti Employment Scheme, Deendayal Employment Scheme , Rani Durgavati Employment scheme (for SC/ST PwDs)
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
-District level committees for implementation of SPARSH Campaign were notified to ensure its social nature and full support of all sections of the society. It included all MPs/MLAs, Chairperson of District Panchayat/Janpad Panchayat, Mayor/corporators of Urban Local bodies, Chairperson of ‘Krishi Upaj Mandis’, vice- Chairpersons of district Antyodaya committee, District coordinator of district Jan Abhiyaan Parishad (NGO), Dean of Medical College, District Education Officer, Civil Surgeon of the district hospital.
-A web-portal was designed to facilitate information based online monitoring, analysis and dissemination of information. The system was seamlessly integrated with SMS and Voice Call Messaging technologies so that focussed communication with large number of target population, field level functionaries and other stakeholders was possible.
-A Call center with toll-free number 1800 233 4397 was made operational to provide telephonic assistance and guidance to the Differently-abled and their parents/kins. Over one lac persons contacted the call center and obtained guidance.
-Organized SPARSH Melas (fair) for Differently-abled, their families and public. The mela offered opportunity for PwDs to display their special talents by participated in the cultural events, they also demonstrated their products, and NGOS and vendors displayed their products and services. Sessions/workshops were organized to discuss various issues related to the welfare of Differently-abled.
-Voice Call Alert System was used to create awareness about disability, opportunities, schemes, rights of PwDs and intimation about the SPARSH camps.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Following problems also motivated us to plan for the initiative:
i. Several PwDs were not on government records and hence they did not exist as far as the Government and society is concerned. This had limited the allocation of resources for welfare of PwDs
ii. It was observed that if there are no special facilities, people with disabilities would not be able to participate in normal routine. Thus there would not be any opportunities for them and they will be forced to remain confined to their homes and thus become invisible. This is a Vicious Circle. There is a direct link between visibility, numbers, resources, budget and facilities. More identified PwDs will result in more allocations and more facilities
iii. Whatever information was available, particularly at micro level was mostly inconsistent and unreliable. There was no system for individual specific planning and delivery of services and tracking of the support extended and additional unfulfilled requirements over a period of time
iv. There was no mechanism/system to ensure proactive or even any delayed action to ensure that the required assistance and support is actually being provided by the needy in a hassle-free manner.
v. The facilities for PwDs like Barrier Free Environment etc. were too were inadequate in most of the public places/offices. This was probably due to lack of awareness on rights of the PwDs for such special facilities for their free movement and work.
vi. Several PwDs reported discrimination and apathetic attitude towards the machinery/society/employers and delays in services. It was a matter of great concern.