Mumbai: On completing four years in government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released an advertisement campaign claiming several achievements under prime minister Narendra Modi.
Of the nine claims we checked about disabled people, one is false, six are true and two uncertain.
FactChecker e-mailed Thaawarchand Gehlot, union minister of social justice and empowerment, on June 5, 2018, and called his office on June 5, June 12 and June 13 seeking comments, but there was no response. The story will be updated if and when there is a response.
Claim 1: Reservations for disabled people in government jobs increased from 3% to 4%.
Fact: True. In December 2016, the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament) and the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) passed the Rights Of Persons With Disabilities Act to replace the Persons With Disabilities Act, 1995.
One salient feature of the new act was to increase reservation in government jobs for people with disabilities from 3% to 4%, according to an official release in December 2016.
Claim 2: Rs 100,000 insurance cover for people with autism, cerebral palsy and other disabilities
Fact: True. The government can reimburse claims up to Rs 100,000 for various medical procedures under the Niramaya scheme. Launched in 2015, the scheme offers insurance to people with disabilities like cerebral palsy, autism, mental retardation or a combination of the same (as listed under the National Trust Act, 1999).
Nirmaya is overseen by the National Trust, a statutory body under the ministry of social justice and empowerment.
Claim 3: Over 600,000 disabled people have benefitted from 5,790 camps.
Fact: True. From 2014 till February 2018, 6,455 ADIP (assistance to disabled to purchase/fit aids and appliances) camps have been held across the country, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha on March 6, 2018.
There were 801,481 beneficiaries between 2014 and 2017, according to this reply to the Lok sabha on April 3, 2018
|Camps For Disabled People, 2014 To 2018|
|No. Of ADIP Camps||1889||1934||1447||1185|
|No. Of Beneficiaries||265602||245584||290295||NA|
Source: Lok Sabha
The scheme was launched in 1981, revised in 1998 and relaunched in 2005. Disability aids like wheelchairs, braille slates and hearing aids are distributed in camps organised under the scheme to people whose disability exceeds 40% and those who earn less than Rs 20,000 per month.
Claim 4: Access audit of 1,662 important buildings in 50 cities completed till date.
Fact: True. Audit of 1,673 buildings across 50 cities has been completed, according to this reply to the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2017.
Access audit is an assessment of a building or a structure that determines how accessible it is to a disabled person.
As many as 50% of all government buildings in the national and state capitals must be made disabled friendly by July 2018, according to the Accessible India scheme launched in 2015, .
Claim 5: 644 out of 709 railway stations have been made accessible.
Fact: True. Out of 709 railway stations that fall under categories A1, A and B, 646 have at least one “long-term accessibility feature” such as engraving of edges on platforms and 623 have trolley pathways, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha on May 6, 2018.
Railway stations are categorised as A1, A and B based on annual income. A1 stations have income above Rs 50 crore, A stations have income between Rs 6-50 crore an B stations have income between Rs 3-6 crore.
All railway stations under categories A1, A and B had to be made accessible by July 2016, according to the Accessibility India scheme.
Claim 6: All 34 international and all domestic airports have been made accessible
Fact: True. All 34 international and 48 domestic airports have been fitted with accessibility features like ramps,accessible signals, lifts with braille and auditory signals, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha on March 6, 2018.
The target to make all airports (domestic and international) accessible was achieved before its deadline (set by the Accessible India scheme) of March 2018
Claim 7: Scheme launched in November 2014 to provide scholarship to pursue technical education.
Fact: False. Disabled students are offered scholarships from the trust fund and the national fund to pursue technical education. However, both the schemes were launched before the BJP government came to power in May 2014.
The pre-matric and post-matric scholarships for disabled students were launched by the BJP government in 2014-15. However, neither of these schemes cover “technical” education.
Claim 8 : 1,000 scholarships per annum available under the scholarship scheme.
Fact: Uncertain. There are 46,000 sanctioned pre-matric and 16,650 post-matric scholarships available per annum (both the schemes were launched in 2014-2015).
There are 2,500 scholarships available per annum under the scholarship scheme from the trust fund and 50 scholarships per annum under the scholarship scheme from the national fund.
The claim does not specify which scheme it is talking about, and hence the exact number of available scholarships cannot be ascertained.
Claim 9: Rs 30,000 as tuition fee and Rs 20,000 as contingency fee under scholarship scheme.
Fact: Uncertain. As the claim does not specify the scheme, it is not possible to ascertain the exact number.
Under the pre-matric scholarship scheme, Rs 3,500 is given to day scholars and Rs 6,000 is given to hostellers annually as scholarship for academics.
While day scholars get Rs 750 per annum as book and adhoc grant, hostellers get Rs 1,000.
Under the post-matric scholarship scheme, hostellers are paid Rs 1,200 every month and day scholars get Rs 550.
There is no mention of “contingency fee” in either of the two schemes.
This is the tenth part in our series checking the National Democratic Alliance government’s claims on completion of four years in office. You can read the other parts here:
(Pallapothu, An Msc Student from the Symbiosis School of Economics, is an intern with IndiaSpend and FactChecker)
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