5% reservation to be given to disabled people in development schemes by Gujarat government

Independent Community Living and 5% reservation in poverty alleviation and development schemes - these are some of the interesting new features in Gujarat's new Divyang policy for people with disabilities.

The government says the Independent Community Living aspect aims to encourage disabled people to live with their families, instead of specialised institutions.

A 21-member working group made up of government officials, NGOs, and disability experts worked on the policy draft for three months. The policy suggests benefits like increased reservation in higher education and government jobs.

The Gujarat government is likely to set aside 5% of funds and give reservation in three categories. These are allotment of agricultural land and housing in all relevant schemes, in all poverty alleviation and developmental schemes, and in allotment of land on concessional rates.

The land will be used to promote housing, shelter, setting up of occupation, business, enterprise, recreation and production centres.

Reservation will be given on priority to women with benchmark disabilities. The government will also set aside 5% of total allocation under initiatives for persons with benchmark disabilities. This is through various departments that include education, health and family welfare, rural development, among others.

A state advisory board and district-level committees will also be set up, say experts. Also being proposed is an assessment board to certify persons with high support needs.

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