Jammu & Kashmir government's apathy towards kids with special needs exposed

The sheer apathy of the government of Jammu and Kashmir towards children with special needs is appalling. Authorities spent just Rs 8 a day on each of the over 13,000 disabled children in the state in 2017.

Even on this, almost half the disabled children were left out of the benefits.

A total of 23,341 children with special needs were identified in the state in 2017-18. Only 13,231 of them were approved for funding. Altogether just Rs 3,000 per head was spent on them during the whole year.

Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rs 399.63 lakh was allocated for Inclusive Education (IE). This was to mainstream children with special needs. However, official records show a drastic decline in the spending on special needs kids.

Government authorities say that the central government no longer covers disabled kids admitted in private and special schools. Their argument was that the funding is meant for the deprived children.

The key parameters of the expenditure on special needs kids includes aids and appliances for the children, salaries of the resource teachers, assessment camps, teacher training in sign language and Braille books for blind children.

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