Guwahati: Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot on Thursday announced schemes worth over Rs 22 crore for disabled people of the north eastern states.
"North East is an integral part of India's growth. It is an inseparable arm of the country. We are working to give more benefits to disabled people from this region to bring them to the mainstream," he said here.
A number of initiatives, totalling about Rs 22 crore, have been taken by the ministry in all the states of the region, he said.
"There are some Composite Regional Centres and rehabilitation units. But we need to strengthen them and increase the capacity. I am giving an additional Rs 3.5 crore for expansion of the buildings," Gehlot said.
An amount of Rs 6 crore will be released for operation and implanting cochlear devices to 100 children below five years of age having hearing problems, he said.
"The Ministry will give Rs 7 crore to Mizoram for the disability study centre and Rs 75.43 lakh for a CRC in Guwahati. An additional Rs 1 crore will be provided during 2015-16 for Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) here," Gehlot said.
Besides, the Centre will release Rs 1 crore for training purposes of disabled people, Rs 50 lakh for books and Rs 32 lakh for equipment, he said.
"We will also set up a warehouse for equipment for disabled persons in Guwahati at an estimated cost of over Rs 2 crore," the minister said.
Gehlot, who was in the city to take part in a conference of Ministers of Social Welfare of North East states, said the Centre will try bring down the level of disability to 15-20 per cent for getting jobs under reservation from the current 40 per cent disability level.
Earlier, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said he sought more assistance from the centre for development of the disabled persons in the state.
"We need more rehabilitation centres, colleges and job avenues. We need spaeial schemes and more money for the disabled persons. The Union Minister (Gehlot) has assured me of all help and cooperation in this direction," he said.