Six months after Modi’s announcement, govt renames disability dept from ‘Viklang’ to ‘Divyang’

    Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi distributing aid & assistive devices to 'Divyang' (physically challenged) children at a function, in Varanasi on Friday. PTI Photo(PTI1_22_2016_000034B)

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    The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will now be known as ‘Divyangjan’ Sashaktikaran Vibhag in Hindi, dropping the word ‘viklangjan’ from its previous nomenclature.

    The development comes nearly five months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on December 27, last year, had said physically challenged people have a “divine ability” and the term “divyang” should be used in place of “viklang” for them.

    The Centre had proposed the change in name of the department by amending the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961. Now, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (‘Viklangjan’ Sashaktikaran Vibhag) will be Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (‘Divyangjan’ Sashaktikaran Vibhag), according to an order issued by Cabinet Secretariat.

    President Pranab Mukherjee has given approval to the new nomenclature, it said. The department, which works under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, facilitates empowerment of persons with disabilities. As per the 2011 census, the differently abled constitute 2.21 per cent of the total population of the country.

    In other news, the government is also considering a proposal to increase the number of categories of physical disabilities from seven to 19 to enable more such people to avail facilities under various schemes, Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot has said.

    The Centre is working towards preparing various schemes not only for the social, economic developments of physically challenged people but also for their mental and physical betterment, the Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment said at a programme of Accessible India Campaign here.

    “The government is considering a proposal to increase the number of divyang categories from the present seven to 19,” Gehlot said yesterday without elaborating.

    “Jaipur is one of the 48 cities chosen in the first phase of the Accessible India Campaign under which it has been proposed that government buildings and public places will be developed into ‘fully accessible’ ones within this year,” he said, adding 100 government building have been chosen under the plan.

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