25-years-old disabled girl breathing in a remote village of Himachal Pradesh has once again raised the question on the government schemes which are efficiently provided for disabled persons in remote areas.
Neenu’s lives in the Kungal Balti village of Tehsil Rampur, with her grandparents Ram Singh and Kempu Devi. She is anguish with severe mental and physical disability since her childhood. She can’t stand so she creeps with the help of her hands. She can’t speak but recognise and retain reminiscences. She lives in a separate shed as her grandparents are too old to facilitate her.
Daughter of an unwed mother, Neenu was abandoned by parents after whom her grandparent’s acted as her guardians for 25 years. She never saw her organic father, while her mother married somewhere else and settled with her new family. The grandparents looked after her for 25 years, but ultimately old age has made it a challenge for them to continue caring for her. They fear who will fed her, take care of her after them. Tears come out when a disability right activist Ajai Srivastava first approached and gave them hope of better future for their granddaughter.
In this case, lack of awareness, illiteracy, and inability of the government to reach remote villages for better implementation of social-security schemes kept Neenu deprived of all her rights. Moreover, the people must consider it their duty to aware such people and help them claim their rights.
Now NGO Umang Foundation, a public welfare trust working for the disabled, destitute women and homeless elderly persons, has taken up the matter with the state government regarding treatment and medical of the girl.
The letter was written to Anuradha Thakur, Secretary, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, to instant save Neenu, get her medically examined and send her to the home for penniless women, said Srivastava.
The condition of Neenu was despondent. She is unable to stand or walk; she has a little locomotors control and low vision. Kempu Devi told that the couple loved their granddaughter like anything. They know her likes and dislikes. She loves to eat chapati and doesn’t like rice. Since her biological father is unknown, her name could not be registered in the panchayat’s family register.
The poverty and unawareness apart from very difficult topography remained the main barriers to stop Ram Singh to get Neenu medically examined when she was a kid. She was not fortunate to see a doctor. She does not possess a disability certificate that could entitle her as a disabled person so that she could claim monthly pension.
Ram Singh and Kempu Devi are very much worried about the future of Anitu as there would be nobody to feed her after their demise.
We never wanted to part with our innocent child. Now, we have no alternative but to handover her in safe hands.
The situation is weird to grandparents. They never wished to depart from Neenu, but their old age has made it inevitable.