Chandigarh, November 18: In a bid to empower Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday okayed a new scheme – Punjab Divyangjan Shaktikaran Yojna (PDSY), to be implemented in a phased manner across the state.
The first phase of the scheme will involve strengthening the existing programmes to ensure that their benefits reach the persons with disabilities in a more effective manner, while in the second phase, 13 new interventions are proposed to be undertaken for the empowerment of such persons.
A decision to this effect was taken in a virtual Cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here this afternoon.
The scheme, envisaged by the Social Security and Women and Child Development department, is aimed at providing a barrier-free environment to persons with disabilities in a phased manner, by making government and public-centric buildings, public transportation and websites accessible to them. Among other issues, the PDSY aims to fill the backlog of PwDs in government jobs, which has already been approved by the Council of Ministers while approving the State Employment Plan. The Department of Employment Generation would give greater thrust on filling up vacant posts of PwDs during the next six months.
The concerned line/administrative departments would implement various existing and new interventions under the scheme as part of their respective Annual Plans, the details of which would have to be submitted to the Social Security and Women & Child Development department. The Department would prepare a consolidated Annual Plan for the development of PwDs, which shall be reviewed by the Planning and Monitoring Committee (PMC) headed by its Principal Secretary. For inter-departmental coordination and resolution of issues that may crop up in the implementation of the scheme, a State Level Steering Committee (SLSC) chaired by the Chief Secretary would be constituted with all concerned Administrative Secretaries as members.
Divulging the salient features of the PDSY, the spokesperson said that the scheme focuses on convergence and integration of various existing schemes and programmes to maximize their benefit for the development of PwDs with an aim to converge 30 existing schemes and programmes. These include Free Concessional Travel in Government Buses also for one attendant of a blind person (blind persons are already getting free travel facility in government buses).