ACHIEVEMENTS / SUCCESS STORIES:
Over the years with rights of the disabled persons as its prime mission HANDICARE has emerged as a premier national level advocacy association of the disabled people. And the unique and characteristic feature of HANDICARE’s advocacy programme is that HANDICARE has achieved all this only by sensitizing the persons concern and by unrelenting persuasion of the matter. Up till now HANDICARE have not even once raised any slogan or staged a demonstration, and above all without any financial aid / grant of any kind from even Central or State government or any other body.
At State Level:
It is to the credit of the HANDICARE that today U.P. has emerged as a model state which has formulated some of the path breaking policies for its disabled populace which no other Indian State has even emulated. To cite a few:
1. On 23rd July 2014 Government of U.P. issued order, no. 1135/ Bees-1-E-2014-U.O.-154/14, changing the name of ‘Viklang Kalyan Vibhag ‘ to ‘Viklang Jan Vikas Vibhag’, adding the word ‘Jan’ (person) and replacing ‘Kalyan (welfare) by ‘Vikas (development) in the existing name.
2. Hundred percentage tax exemption in house and water tax to the blind and orthopaedically disabled persons.
3. HANDICARE was able to persuade the Uttar Pradesh Housing & Development Board to develop a barrier free park for the disabled people and they built India’s first and only totally accessible park having a special toilet, provision for wheelchairs etc., at Lucknow. They also gave HANDICARE two rooms in the park to extend our services there.
4. Disabled employees and parents of the disabled children of U.P. Government have been exempted from routine transfer.
5. Road Tax has been exempted on the school buses of the NGOs.
6. Again due to untiring efforts of HANDICARE U.P. has introduced a system of special parking for disabled persons all over the State. The scheme envisages a 5% reservation of all parking slots and permission to park in certain non-parking areas and free parking. Special Parking Stickers has been issued for the vehicles of the disabled people.
7. Examinations to be conducted on the ground floor only, of the disabled students.
8. Again U.P. is the only State where the practice of affixing of photographs showing disabilities on ‘Disability Certificates’ and other Government documents has been completely stopped. Instead a plain passport type photograph suffices.
And HANDICARE must also tell that the meeting regarding this very important issue which was held with the entire team of the principal secretary, medical and health, Government of U.P., took less than a minute to give their assent to this provision after chairperson HANDICARE stated her point on this matter.
At Central level:
HANDICARE’s advocacy work is just not confined to the State of U.P. but it has also sensitized the Central Government to make some very significant and conducive policies for the disabled people.
1. HANDICARE persuaded the Ministry of Railways, Government of India for providing concessional fare to the disabled people in AC II, AC III and AC Chair Car in trains when Ist class coaches were being replaced by AC coaches. Many other national level organizations (Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Amar Jyoti, FOD, Spastic Society, Sewah etc.) lent their support and forwarded our representation to the Ministry of Railways.
2. Banks were not providing conveyance allowance to their disabled officers. HANDICARE was able to get the same clarified from the Ministry of Finance, Government of India resulting in banks distributing the conveyance allowance to their officers having disability.
3. HANDICARE was again able to persuade the Ministry of Finance, Government of India to enhance the conveyance allowance to the disabled bank employees
4. HANDICARE could motivate UCO Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and Bank of Maharashtra to provide special car loans to their disabled award (clerk) staff who as a rule are not entitled for car loans.