CHIKKAMAGALURU: In a bid to save the specially-abled the trouble of having to endure a prolonged bureaucratic ordeal to avail of the benefits they are entitled to, the Unique Disability Identity (UDID) system was introduced.
While many districts across Karnataka are yet to issue UDID cards to all applicants, two of them – Ramanagara and Chikkamagaluru - have exceeded their targets.
While Ramanagara district has registered 128.8% coverage in issuance of the UDID cards to stake its claim to the top spot, Chikkamagaluru has slotted in at second place, registering 109.2% coverage.
However, purely in terms of the number of UDID cards issued, Chikkamagaluru is ahead of Ramanagara, having distributed them to 13,354 individuals against 13,118 in the latter district.
Authorities in Chikkamagaluru district said that they had received 15,584 applications for the UDID card, of which more than 3,000 were rejected on account of duplication.
Dinesha, a resident of Narasimharajapura taluk in Chikkamagaluru who has received the UDID card, said that the integrated card had rendered the process of availing of benefits considerably easier. "Earlier, we had to lug many documents that we had to furnish to avail of benefits, but now all we have to carry is a card. Also the UDID card will help prevent misuse of these schemes," Dinesha said.
The UDID card acts as an integrated document vouching for the veracity of an individual's disability, and one's entitlement to benefits under various schemes. Furthermore, the card enables the authorities to keep track of any beneficiary's financial position, and health. It also streamlines the procedure to track the scheme across all rungs of the administrative machinery, right from the gram panchayat (GP) to the highest echelons of the central government.
Chikkamagaluru zilla panchayat (ZP) chief executive officer G Prabhu said that equipment worth Rs 5 crore had been distributed to the specially-abled individuals across the district after they were issued UDID cards. "We recently gave equipment worth Rs 10 lakh to 50 specially-abled individuals each," Prabhu said.
Pointing out that both the state and central governments had rolled out a slew of schemes aimed at improving the lo of specific groups of people such as the elderly, women, Prabhu said, "The department for the empowerment of persons with disabilities and senior citizens is currently engaged in implementation of schemes aimed at ensuring the welfare of these target groups."
BJP general secretary and Chikkamagaluru MLA CT Ravi said that people with disabilities were being paid a monthly honorarium of Rs 1,400. "The district will soon get a bhavan that will be responsible for the management of welfare schemes for the specially-abled. We have already sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs 50 lakh for the construction of the bhavan," Ravi said.