Wednesday, April 1, 2020

DEPwD Writes to State Commissioners for PwDs for Implementation of Comprehensive Disability Inclusive Guidelines for Protection and Safety of Divyangjan During Emergency Health Situations due to Covid 19

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and
Empowerment has written to the State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities of all States/UTs for the
implementation of comprehensive disability inclusive guidelines issued by the DEPwD on 26th March, 2020
for protection and safety of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) (Divyangjan) during the emergency health
situations due to Pandemic COVID 19 – Issue of passes to Care Givers, NGOs/PwDs.
In the letter, it has been said that as per these guidelines, the States Commissioners are required to serve as
State Nodal Authority to ensure implementation in close coordination with all relevant authorities such as
State/District Disaster Management Authorities, Health and Law Enforcement Authorities so that hardship to
persons with disabilities during the lockdown period is minimised. It is hoped that the State Commissioners
are taking necessary action proactively in accordance with the above guidelines.
As per these guidelines, (a) local movement passes for caregivers of persons with disabilities during lockdown
needs to be issued in a simplified manner on priority, and (b) the persons with disabilities are also required to
be given access to essential food, water, medicine. It may further be noted that NGOs and Association of
PwDs are also working to assist Divyangjan in their daily living and essential items. There is need to have
coordination with these organizations to ensure smooth flow of support services for PwDs.
DEPwD has been receiving complaints regarding difficulties being faced by PwDs in getting services of
caregivers, maids and access to essential items due to non-issue of travel passes to NGOs/PwD Associations/
caregivers etc. It has requested the State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities of all States/UTs to tie
up with concerned authorities to streamline issue of local travel passes to Association of
Divyangjan/NGOs/caregivers so that there is no delay in providing necessary support to Divyangjan. They are
also requested to sensitise local law enforcement authorities in this regard (Police/SDM etc.). DEPwD has
asked them to ensure that PwD COVID-19 patients are not turned out from hospitals and health care

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