Vellore: An immediate and total reassessment of differently-abled persons in Vellore district must be carried out to weed out bogus identity cards and those possessing more than one such document.
Conveying this to DT Next District differently-abled welfare officer Saravanan said, “There may be nearly 39,000 differently-abled persons in Vellore district and hence there is a need for eligible persons to get the differently-abled identity card which allows them access to various benefits, including government jobs, free bus pass, old age pension and free prosthetic instruments.”
However, “these benefits have paved way for middlemen to mushroom in the district with some even visiting the houses of differently-abled persons in villages promising to get them the identity card for a commission ranging between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000 depending on the bargaining capacity of the beneficiary,” Saravanan added.
“Though cases have been booked against some brokers, an immediate total reassessment of differently-abled persons is necessary to identify the genuine beneficiaries and those possessing more than one card,” Saravanan added.
A few other officials, on condition of anonymity, said, “reassessment is necessary as some beneficiaries even have certificates identifying their disability without ever having visited a doctor.”
Brokers will be on the prowl when disabled persons come twice a week to consult doctors at the Vellore GMCH on Tuesdays and at the Gudiyattam GH on Thursdays.
“The identity card process was fixed at hospitals as it will enable doctors to conduct the necessary steps on the spot and ensure that the disabled are not forced to trek to hospitals needlessly,” Saravanan concluded.