Government pulled up for not meeting cochlear implant targets

A parliamentary panel on disabilities has criticised the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for not conducting the cochlear implants scheduled. It says that opposed to the Centre's promise to conduct over 1,500 cochlear implants in the last three years, it has only conducted 975 implants.

Under the Assistance to Disabled Person for Purchase and Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) scheme, the Centre has to provide over 500 hearing-impaired children with complete financial assistance for people earning an income of less than Rs 15,000 per month, and with 50% for those earning anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month.

The Lok Sabha committee says that it was dismayed to note how the surgeries had fallen and that the number of operations should be increased to 700 beneficiaries because if a child is provided with the facility in the early years, it will help in its overall development.

It has also asked the Centre to direct the states and union territories to make bulk purchases of these units.

The Committee also took note of the provision under the scheme where a beneficiary below the age of 16 years with 80% disability is provided with a motorised tricycle once every 10 years. It has asked the Centre to increase the maintenance cost of these tricycles, and to reduce the 10-year policy to five years.

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