' Disability' on sale.
YOU MAY be struggling to get admission into a college or fretting about how to land yourself a government job.
But many others have an easier way out: They get ' disabled', not literally but officially, and enjoy benefits offered to the category. And touts make it happen.
Touts in the city government hospitals can get an otherwise physically normal person an official certificate confirming his disability.
This certificate can be of great help as disabled people are extended a host of benefits by the government, including reservation in admissions and recruitments.
There are many who have got these certificates made with the help of touts and use it for various purposes. The touts also exploit people's wariness of the convoluted and time- taking governmental process and do the job in almost no time for a price.
The government has divided the hospitals area- wise and districtwise for issuing disability certificates.
For touts issuing a disability certificate is child's play, irrespective of the area one stays in. The touts charge anywhere between ` 3,000 and ` 5,000 and get anyone a disability certificate as required in two- three days.
This reporter approached city's Bara Hindu Rao Hospital running under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi ( MCD) for getting a disability certificate. The hospital issues disability certificates to those who stay in the area near central Delhi.
This reporter was approached by a tout outside the orthopaedic department asking if she required a disability certificate. " Are you looking for a disability certificate? It's a lengthy process in this hospital.
I will get it issued for you but you will have to pay ` 5,000," the tout, who was not an employee of the hospital, claimed.
After negotiations when the reporter agreed to pay ` 3,000, the tout asked her for two photographs.
" You will get it in three to four days, the certificate will look genuine and will have all the relevant entries," he said.
Under the law, the disability certificate is issued by a medical authority notified by the state government. Each such medical authority is constituted at the district level and is supposed to receive applications from the disabled, assess their disability and issue them the certificate within a week from the receipt of application, if the disability is assessed at 40 per cent.
Only a government doctor is authorised to issue a disability certificate for which an applicant is required to come to the district government hospital and present his case before the medical authority constituted for the purpose.
When the reporter asked for meeting the doctor to issue the certificate, the tout said, " There is no need to meet the doctor. You don't need to appear before any medical board too. There should be three stamps. I will give you a stamped certificate; your work will be done. You don't worry. I have made a dozen certificates that students are using." The next day, the tout called the reporter and told her that the work would be done in two days.
The Bara Hindu Rao Hospital issues certificates for Locomotor disability by way only of amputation complete permanent paralysis of limbs, or blindness. The procedure for issuing disability certificates to the physically and mentally challenged people by all the notified hospitals under the Delhi government is lawful and reasonably time- taking for credibility of the certificate for genuine handicapped people.
" One should always get a disability certificate through the government hospitals only. There are strict norms to obtain these certificates. The touts often print the fake registration numbers on the certificates. We are trying our best to stop this practice. We are bringing strict measures to nab these touts," Delhi health minister Dr A. K. Walia said.
RIGHT WAY TO GET IT
A handicapped person needs to submit documents to the medical superintendent's office of the concerned hospital
The applicant is given a date for appearing before the medical board within 21 days of furnishing the documents
An OPD card is prepared and issued to the applicant.
Using this card, the applicant is required to attend the OPD of the medical officer for examination
Necessary investigations are carried out by the medical officer and entries made in the medical card, after a week
Applicants need to present themselves before the board on the date fixed for such appointment
The handicapped person will be examined by the designated board of doctors, along with report received
On the board's recommendations, a physically handicapped certificate is issued to the applicant
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