Gangtok, 13 Sept (IPR): In a bid to improve the socio-economy standards of people living with several disabilities, Social Justice, Empowerment & Welfare Department today distributed Grant of Awards to beneficiaries of various schemes like Marriage of Persons with Differently Abled, Inter Caste Marriage, under Protection of Civil Right and prevention of Atrocities Act and National Family Benefit Scheme under National Social Assistance Programme in a function held at the conference hall of the department in Lumsey today.
Chairperson of Central Social Welfare Advisory Board (CSWAB), Mrs. Phurmit Lepcha, and Chairperson of Sikkim Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), Mrs. Dikila Bhutia, graced the said occasion.
The programme was attended by Secretary, SJE&WD, Ms Sarala Rai, Additional Secretary, Mr. K.B. Pradhan, officials and beneficiaries from all four districts of the State.
Congratulating the beneficiaries, Chairperson, CSWAB, Mrs. Phurmit Lepcha, said that earlier physically challenged people were not integrated into the mainstream society and marriage is the institution where the stigma of being differently abled was starkly highlighted. Now with the said scheme of ‘Marriage with Persons with Differently Abled’, marriages between the disabled and the able-person in our society has been acknowledged, she added.
She further said that the State Government is people centric and Sikkimese people must take advantage of various social welfare schemes like widow re-marriage, unmarried pension, scholarships, transgender pension, etc.
“In many places especially in rural areas people are not aware and thus we have to create awareness about such social welfare schemes and ensure proper utilization of welfare schemes,” added CSWAB Chariperson, Mrs. Phurmit Lepcha.
Chairperson, SCPCR, Mrs. Dikila Bhutia, asked the people to avail maximum utilization of social welfare schemes and urged people to spread awareness in their respective places.
Earlier, Secretary, Ms Sarala Rai, said that such initiatives are made by the State Government to help people be accepted in mainstream society and enable them to lead a life of happiness, dignity and to stimulate and sustain economic growth.
During the function, 18 couples were honoured under Marriage with Persons with Differently Abled Scheme and received cheque worth Rs. 2 lakh.
Nineteen couples from all four districts received cheque of Rs. 30,000 each under Inter Caste Marriage Scheme under Protection of Civil Right and prevention of Atrocities Act. Under National Family Benefit Scheme, 70 beneficiaries received cheque of Rs. 30,000 each under National Social Assistance Programme.
The department also distributed pressure cookers to 12 senior citizens under BPL category.
Additional Secretary, Mr. K.B. Pradhan, informed about various social welfare schemes. He further said that the department has received very few application for Widow-Remarriage Scheme and urged people to spread the message in their respective areas as well so that the aim of social upliftment is achieved.