Government of India and State Governments are extending benefits to handicapped persons in their own way. But, whether it reaches the beneficiaries is a big question. All handicap are viewed and weighed in the same manner, which is also not correct. For example, being a father of a Mentally Challenged Girl, I would like to narrate my own experience:
Mentally Challenged, category is the works type of handicap. They have eyes, but can’t see properly, they have mouth & tongue but can’t speak clearly. They have arms and legs but can’t use as they meant for. That is why, I am calling such Mentally Challenged as unfortunate category amongst the handicap persons.
For getting the benefits of the Government, the Father / Mother of such person have to undergo a trauma, which cannot be explained in words. First to get the certificate itself, the person has been put into different kind of tests, for eg. EGG, Psychology, etc. etc. Mentally Challenged person never cooperate with such tests, even they cannot be put into sleeping dose easily. In case, they are suffering from other ailments such as fever, headache, toothache, etc. for getting treatment from Government Hospital is horrible. For this the private hospitals simply ignore such parents or they are trying to grab hefty amount from the parents.
For getting Income Tax benefit under 80DD, the hardship which I underwent gave me experience that I would have paid the tax, instead of struggling to get certificate under 80DD. For this also, they give benefits only to severely affected persons. The word ‘Severe’ applicable only to those handicapped persons who bodily crippled. But, the Income Tax authorities unmindful of the gravity of Mentally Challenged persons insists on getting ‘Severe’ certificate to get the Income Tax relief.
Mentally Challenged persons used to get continuous medical treatment. It is not like other categories of person with handicap to get treatment for a particular ailment. Mentally Challenged persons have to undergo medical treatment for their entire life, which is not understood by the Government authorities or the Doctors themselves.
Hospitals are available for other type of handicap persons. But, for Mentally Challenged persons only Ashrams or Hostel only available, where they have been fed three times a day only. No treatment or activities are going on for betterment of their live.
In this type of Mentally Challenged category not only the person who suffers but also their parents and the entire family members are suffering along with him/her.
Therefore, while giving any such benefits / Income Tax benefits to be given to such category of person, their Parental care also should be taken into consideration. This has never been understood by the Government authorities unless they have undergone such trauma in their own life.
For getting 80 DD Income Tax Certificate, the Doctors at Thanjavur Medical College asked us to admit the Mentally Challenged Girl in the Hospital, that too on Friday. The entire family spent three days in the filthy Medical Ward at Thanjavur Medical College. On Monday, I have virtually decided to give up the hope for getting the Certificate and driven to home. At last, with great hardship I was able to obtain the Certificate. Despite, being educated person, the trauma I underwent to get the certificate is an untold story. How many of such parents venture such things. They, silently, curse the Almighty for their fate and undergoing their simple life along with such unfortunate Gift of God.
Similar, is my experience in getting Railway Concessions for my daughter. Oh! God, I would have paid the regular fare. The Railways having separate coach for such persons, but mostly, it has been noticed that either the Railway officers or their relatives are using it. As this Coach is attached with the Rail Guard coach, they would have easily ensure the safety of such handicap person, but alas! The plight of persons who are travelling with such concession are facing the music of the Railway Officials.
Central Government is also extending the benefit of posting of parents of such Mentally Challenged persons in their Home Town. But, the authorities who implement the orders of the Central Government are unmindful the spirit of the Order. I got transfer from Delhi to Thanjavur, under this Order facing music of such arrogant officers in my day to-day work. But, my pay was reduced by the Audit authorities because of their whims and fancy of following the Rules. Then I have to get the orders from Delhi to rectify it. In between the tragedy, which I undergone is a History.
Even for allotment of Government Quarters, this category of people have been totally neglected. When I person suffering from TB/Cholara which are now becoming a curable diseases entitled for a Government Quarter, why the Mentally Challenged person is totally neglected. It is the duty of the parents of such Children to provide them better amenities to them. I had filed a case in CAT, Principal Bench, New Delhi and won the case. But, the CPWD allotted the quarter after filing a condemn petition is another untold story in my life.
Sometimes, I feel my self that the God given me Mentally Challenged Girl Child because to use me as a tool for getting benefits to such benefits from the Government for the Unfortunate category of persons. Thank God.