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Govt to support ISIC-like centers in states for spinal cord injured patients

In a significant stride toward building an inclusive society, the Union Government has reaffirmed its dedication to supporting the establishment of ISIC-like centers across states, catering to the needs of Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries (PwSCI). A senior government official announced this commitment, emphasizing the government’s ongoing efforts to foster inclusivity.

Rajeev Sharma, Joint Secretary at the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, shared the details during his address as the Chief Guest at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) today. He highlighted the allocation of Rs 844 crore for the period from 2021 to 2025 to create infrastructure and empower Persons with Disabilities (PwD). This financial support will be extended to states under the Scheme for Implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (SIPDA) for the establishment of ISIC-like centers.

The ISIC, in a runner-up to World Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Day on September 5, has initiated a series of inclusive programs aimed at raising awareness. The Inclusive Program at ISIC for SCI Day 2023 commenced today with a Wheelchair Rally, Nukkad Natak (street play), Wheelchair Inclusive Dance, and free health checkups. The Wheelchair Rally witnessed enthusiastic participation from hundreds of PwSCI on wheelchairs, flagged off by the Chief Guest and dignitaries.

Dr Vikas Tandon, Chief of Spine Services at ISIC, extended a warm welcome to the guests and expressed his support for the cause, stating, “SCI Day, celebrated annually on September 5, serves to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries and advocate for a more inclusive society for SCI patients. We firmly believe that a spinal cord injury is not a full stop in life but merely a comma. Hence, we strongly endorse the creation of a more inclusive society for our SCI patients.”

Towards the goal of fostering inclusivity, Sugandh Ahluwalia, Chief Strategy Officer, encouraged individuals to spread the word that ISIC is actively seeking to employ individuals with PwSCI and other disabilities for suitable positions. She urged interested candidates to reach out to the Human Resources Department for placement opportunities.

Bholi Ahluwalia, Chairperson of ISIC, emphasized the institution’s role as a comprehensive solution provider for SCI patients, aligning with this year’s SCI Day theme, “Access to SCI Services: A Life Less Complicated.” This theme underscores the urgent need for holistic solutions to address catastrophic spinal cord injuries and promote a more inclusive society for SCI patients.

The pursuit of universal accessibility for SCI patients remains a top priority. Coordinated efforts involving various departments, including law enforcement, civil society, healthcare institutions, and insurers, are essential to prevent road accidents and ensure comprehensive post-trauma rehabilitation. With 1.5 million people living with spinal cord injuries, the call for a more inclusive society and robust support systems has never been more critical.
MB Bureau

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