Government Assistance for the Handicapped
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If the state government does not grant money then the application could be forwarded to the central government. There is a 3 per cent reservation for physically handicapped for jobs in any government institutions. One per cent each for deaf and dumb, 1 per cent for blind and one per cent for orthopedically handicapped. Aids such as wheel chairs, crutches are also given by the government for the handicapped.
The government has provided guidance and counseling centers for the handicapped to help them get information about the various central and state government schemes. In case of government housing schemes first preference is given to the handicapped in case of allotment. In case of equipment imported for the handicapped there are concession given on the import duty paid.
There are mainly three types of assistance provided for:
- Rehabilitation through education.
- Travel Concessions.
- For those who want to set up small businesses, an amount INR 500 to INR 1000 given as seed money to buy the equipment or the items needed to set up shop.
- Margin money scheme: A 20 per cent subsidy is given for a maximum amount of INR 25,000 taken as a loan from a nationalized bank to start small businesses.
- For men above the age of 60 and women above the age of 55, financial assistance to stay in an Old Age Home is provided for. This includes charges of boarding and lodging and medical expenses that could be incurred.
- There is a National and State award for excellence instituted for the handicapped employees. This is awarded to handicapped employee on the recommendation from an institution on the relevant form available with the district social welfare officer at the Maharashtra State Mantralaya.
- Financial assistance, up to 90 per cent, on approval, is also given for buildings or arranging seminars and conferences to physically handicapped persons.
- Scholarship for study from 1st to 8th standard given by the Maharashtra State Government.
- Scholarship for study from 9th standard onwards to master’s degree or technical education.
- Merit scholarship for further studies for those who have passed the 10th and 12th standard.
- Grants in aid are given to all types of voluntary agencies and teaching institutions included under the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) Act and teachers recruited recognized by RCI.
- There is also provision for schools that have handicapped children to send their teachers for special training to teach such children.
- Rail Travel: 75 per cent concession on rail fare is given for the handicapped person traveling and 50 per cent is given to escorts traveling with them. Only the blind and the orthopedically handicapped are allowed an escort. Hearing and speech impaired are allowed 50 per cent concession on the rail fare.
- State Transport: Concessions on fares up to 70 per cent is allowed for traveling by state transport to attend seminars, for treatment or for educational rehabilitation. To avail the concession an application has to put forward in advance stating the reasons for travel.
- For those working in government offices get 5 per cent of their salary as conveyance allowance and an additional amount of Rs 100.
- Visually handicapped are allowed discounted air fare on one way travel by the Indian Airlines.
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