Our last e-bulletin highlighted the guidelines issued by the Central Government to the States to ensure that persons with disabilities face no hardship during the Covid-19 epidemic. These guidelines require that caregivers be provided exemptions from travel restrictions, persons with disabilities be provided with access to food, water and medicine at their residence, and that they be provided with safe passage and priority for emergency treatment. However, reports indicate that these measures are not being uniformly followed. While in many cases the next of kin may be able to do the needful, there may be some instances of undue difficulties being faced. Here, therefore, is a suggested template and necessary information for approaching authorized government officials in such cases.
The Central Government guidelines, issued by the letter dated 26th March, 2020 require that the responsible Social Welfare Officer in each District be the nodal authority respectively for resolving disability specific issues during the crisis period. A list of the Social Welfare Officers for all districts in India, with name, address, e-mail id and contact number, is available on the Unique Disability ID (UDID) website of the Government of India at the following link: http://www.swavlambancard.gov.in/districtWelfareOffice.
It is suggested that persons with disabilities or their next of kin / caregivers / Disability NGOs approach the said district Social Welfare Officers in the event of inordinate difficulties being faced by them. Individualised communication may be sent, or the template below may be used for the purpose, choosing the applicable options and with suitable modification. A copy may be sent to the State Disabilities Commissioner, who may be requested to provide the necessary facilitation and/or further directions. The said officers may also have information about various NGOs enlisted to provide relief measures during the epidemic and the 21-day lockdown.
District Social Welfare Officer
Subject: Request to provide relief for undersigned, a person with disability, during Covid-19 epidemic in terms of Central Government letter D.O. No. Secy/1/2020 dated the 26th March 2020 (copy enclosed)
Madam / Sir,
The undersigned is a person with disability as per the details provided below.
You would be aware that by the letter D.O. No. Secy/1/2020 dated the 26th March 2020 and the accompanying guidelines (copy enclosed), the Central Government has directed that the District Social Welfare Officer in each district shall function as the nodal officer to resolve all issues concerning persons with disabilities during the Covid-19 epidemic.
In this context, I request you to provide the following assistance (choose any that [apply], or add):
[My caregiver is having difficulty in reaching me due to travel restrictions. Kindly send written communication immediately to the Station House Officer, Police Station _________ , with copy to me, to issue a pass for my caregiver. The caregiver details are as follows:
Name of Caregiver:
Address: Contact Number/E-mail ID: ]
[I am having difficulty getting access to essential food, water and medicine during the current period. Please provide me the necessary assistance, including the help of such NGOs as may be enlisted for the purpose, to ensure that these items are delivered at my residence.]
[I need to travel during this emergency for necessary care and treatment. Please ensure my safe passage and priority treatment by deputing the necessary officer or such NGOs as may be enlisted for the purpose.]
(Signature / Thumbprint)
Name of Person with Disability:
Address: Contact Number/Email ID:
Type of Disability:
[Disability Certificate/UDID card /Medical Certificate copy attached]
Cc: Commissioner, Persons with Disabilities