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Growing number of fake disability certification rackets highlight need for stricter checks & action

People with disabilities and disorders are provided with some exemptions and benefits by the government that can help them find equal standing in mainstream life. This is being hampered by the fact that many non-disabled people use fake documents to claim the benefits of these schemes.

Just this month in Mumbai, the Central Railways busted a major racket in which non disabled people were found using fake disability certificates to corner seats in long-distance trains. This is not a one off. The Mumbai incident comes on the heels of a senior medical official in Ludhiana who was demoted after it was found he was using fake documents to claim a promotion.

Across India, instances of fake disability certificates are reported time and again. Be it in the space of education, employment or medical insurance, such repeated incidents seriously hamper the growth of the community.

"It is unfortunate that many people cheat and take away the rights of disabled people by submitting false documents. The system needs to be made more accurate and there should be regular audits to put a curb to this menace. When non-disabled people taking away the jobs of people with disabilities, it causes a very negative impact on the community and discourages them, says Nawab Khan, a teacher and motivational speaker.

In the Ludhiana case, Dr Palvinderpal Singh , a chief medical officer, was found to have used a certificate claiming a higher percentage of disability to seek promotion along with three others. Subsequently the government ordered a review of the disability status of three civil surgeons from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh and Government Medical College in Patiala. All three were found to have exaggerated their disabilities!

The cases detected are just the tip of the iceberg as activists point out.

There should be strict action against those who help in making these forged documents. The medical fraternity should be strict about the process of issuing the certificates. People with disabilities face a lot of discrimination and these scams further add challenges to their lives. - Avelino Dsa, President, Disability Rights Association of Goa

This cheating is a breach of rights of people with disability and has serious repercussions on their lives. Undeserving candidates are hired on jobs reserved for people with genuine disability issues and students with disabilities also miss out on precious opportunities when fake documents are submitted to claim disabled quota in admissions.

While disabled people are going through the hassle of getting their documents made which is a time consuming process, forgers are able to get their fake documents made with ease and are not hesitant about using them.

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