Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched the National Health Fest for Divyangjan- We Care organized by Special Olympics Bharat under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav at BBMB Colony Sundernagar in Mandi district today. He awarded the winners of the Special Olympics and announced a grant of Rs. 25 lakh to the Special Olympic Association.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government is committed for the all round development of specially-abled. In the last four years, special efforts have been made by the State Government for their social, educational and economic upliftment. He said that the State Government has implemented the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 with the objective of benefitting more and more persons with disabilities and ensuring their full participation in the society.
Chief Minister said that in order to keep persons with disabilities physically and mentally healthy, their participation in sports was being encouraged. In Himachal Pradesh Rs. 75,000 was being given to the gold medalist of Special Olympic Games, Rs. 50,000 to the silver medalist, Rs. 20,000 to the bronze medalist and Rs. 10,000 to other participants.
Describing education as the core of all-round development of the individual, the Chief Minister said that to encourage Specially-abled children towards education, tuition fees were not being charged from them from class First upto the university level including Industrial Training Institutes and Polytechnical institutes and 5 percent reservation was also being provided to them in higher educational institutions. A scholarship of Rs. 625 to Rs. 5000 per month was being given to specially-abled students without any income criteria from class First to university level. These efforts have made specially-abled people more skilled and self-reliant in every field and they have brought laurels to the country and the state.
He said that to educate the deaf-dumb and visually impaired children, free education and residential facilities were being provided to them through special educational institutes in Sundernagar of Mandi and Dhali of Shimla District up to class 12th by the state government. Digital and valid Unique numbers were being provided to them for their inclusion in various government schemes.
Chief Minister said that the countrywide Sugamya Bharat campaign has been started for the disabled persons to use public and private transport facilities with dignity and freedom, under which hundreds of buildings, railway stations, airports have been made accessible to the specially-abled in the country.
He said that many commendable achievements have been made by the specially-abled in various fields. Talented specially-abled sportspersons from Himachal made the state proud by winning 12 medals in the Special Olympic Games held in Abu Dhabi in the year 2019.
The Chief Minister awarded winners of the World, Winter and Summer Games in Special Olympics India of Sahyog Special School, Sundernagar including two time bronze medalist in Snow Gold Jagdish, two time silver medalist Shubham Singh in Alpine skiing, Chirag Thakur a silver medalist in basketball, Rahul for finishing fifth in football and Parth Malhotra for participating in snow shoeing.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Rajiv Saizal said that the inclusion of Special Olympics in “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” shows respect for the specially-abled. He said that under this program, 75000 persons with disabilities were being benefited by conducting health check-ups in 75 cities of the country through 7500 medical experts which itself was a record that would be recorded in Guinness Book of Records and Limca Book of Records.
Local MLA Rakesh Jamwal detailed about the programs being started for the welfare and upliftment of specially-abled people in the area and said that the government has implemented many schemes for the needy and weaker sections of the society.
Vice President Himachal Chapter of Special Olympic Association India Rashim Dhar Sood gave detailed information about the activities of Special Olympic Bharat.
General Secretary, Child Development Council Payal Vaidya said that by organizing three camps including Sundernagar in Himachal Pradesh the target of creating awareness and health check-up of specially-abled people was met.
President Mandi Chapter Jagdish Rana welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries and Vice President Ramesh Thakur presented vote of thanks.
Cultural programs were presented by the students of Sahyog Special School, Nagchala and Sakaar Special School on the occasion.
MLA Nachan Vinod Kumar, Executive Director of Sports Authority of India Lalita Sharma, Additional Deputy Commissioner Jatin Lal, representatives of Municipal Council Sundernagar, Special Olympics India, Mandi Chapter officials were present in the program among others.
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