The State government has decided to increase the number of day-care centres for the elderly from four to 14, according to Minister of State for Women and Child Development Umashree.
She announced this at the inaugural session of a workshop on ‘Differently-abled persons – opportunities and challenges’, jointly organised by the Administrative Training Institute, Abdul Nazir Sab State Institute for Rural Development, and the Department of Women and Child Development here.
Presently such centres were in Bangalore, Hubli, Belgaum and Gulbarga, she said. Such centres would be set up in the districts of Mysore, Hassan, Chickballapur, Bidar, Bellary, Dakshina Kannada, Dharwad, Tumkur, Chitradurga and Bagalkot, she said.
The government had increased the annual allocation for these centres from Rs. 4.15 lakh to Rs. 11.2 lakh. Similarly, the helpline for the elderly, which covers 14 districts, had been extended to the entire State, she said.
Ms. Umashree said the government had decided to set up two centres in Bangalore to cater to the needs of children with cerebral palsy.
Legislators were supposed to earmark 10 per cent of their Local Area Development Funds to works related to the welfare of persons with physical disabilities, she said, and sought a report from officials on funds spent for the purpose. Similarly, Ms. Umashree called for a review to know if all the departments had properly executed the gender budgeting concept.
Principal Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development, Amita Prasad, said that “talking computers” (computers with voice-prompting facility) would be provided to visually challenged students. She said the workshop had been organised to create awareness among persons with physical disabilities about their rights and the benefits available from various government schemes. Similar workshops would be held in Mysore, Dharwad and Gulbarga within September, she said.