Only 25 lakh out of 2.68 crore persons with disabilities have been issued an Aadhar-linked unique identity card since it was launched in 2016, with officials blaming lack of awareness for the poor response to the initiative aimed at ensuring easier access to various government schemes and benefits.
The Unique Disability ID (UDID) smart card contains details such as disability percentage, personal details, identity, employment details, education details and bank account numbers of a person with a disability.
As on Friday, 25,04,098 cards have been generated across the country with Madhya Pradesh (3,38,199) topping the chart, followed by Rajasthan (3,09,536), Telangana (3,02,345), Uttar Pradesh (2,91,758) and Odisha (2,85,065), according to the official website. No UDID card has been issued in Lakshwadeep, while just four cards were generated in West Bengal and 403 in Delhi.
Officials in the department of empowerment of persons with disabilities under the ministry of social justice and empowerment said the card has come as a huge relief for persons with a disability considering the paucity of officers authorized to issue disability certificates.
"The number of disability certificate issuing authorities is not adequate as compared to the number of disabled persons. Presently only about 30 percent of disabled persons have disability certificates," an official said.
The officials said a common complaint of persons with disabilities is that it takes six months to get the smart card. The departments of health and family welfare and social welfare in every state have to coordinate to help the disabled to get a disability certificate from the district disability board. The board consists of specialists in psychiatry, orthopedics, ENT, ophthalmology, medicine and neurology to conduct a test to check the percentage of disability and issue the certificate. After that, it has to be uploaded in the national portal.
They said the smart card would eliminate the hassles of the disabled to carry their disability certificates for different purposes, as details about the type of disabilities that they suffer are included in the card. Moreover, such UDID cards will be accepted as a disability certificate.
"As a result, such persons will not need to make multiple copies of documents, maintain, carry multiple documents as the UDID card will capture all the necessary details which can be decoded with the help of a reader. The UDID card will be the single document of identification, verification of the disabled for availing various benefits in the future," the official added.