The Centre will soon issue universal identity cards to persons with disabilities to help them avail various government welfare schemes, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said here today. He said a survey in this regard is being undertaken to identify beneficiaries. “The Union government is planning to give common identity cards to physically-challenged persons in the country. A survey is on in this regard. After that, all of them would get identity cards,” he told reporters. As per the 2011 survey, there are about 2.68 crore disabled persons in the country, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment said. The Union government was also promoting disabled friendly buildings for public utility services to help the community, he said. Athawale was here to attend a review meeting with regard to schemes of his ministry with senior officials of the Kerala government.
Stating that Kerala’s performance in terms of various social development schemes was “good”, he said the number of atrocities against Dalit communities was lesser in the southern state compared to many of its northern counterparts. “Around 45,000 cases of Dalit atrocities were reported all over India in one year. But, it was less in Kerala. Only 102 cases were reported in the state during the period,” he said. Dalits in Kerala would benefit more if BJP-led NDA government comes to power in the state, the Union minister said said. He also expressed hope that BJP would come to power in the 2021 Assembly election, ending the bipolar politics of the Congress-led UDF and CPI(M)-led LDF.
Referring to the recent developments in the Kashmir Valley, Athawale said, “Pakistan was creating trouble for India.” Stating that there was no comparison between the two countries, he said, “India is a tiger while Pakistan is a cat.” The minister hailed the Centre’s demonetisation scheme as a “bold step” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said Modi’s popularity is high not only in the country, but also abroad. Athawale also listed out various welfare schemes offered by his ministry such as scholarships and pension.