The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has written to the State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities of all States/UTs for the implementation of comprehensive disability inclusive guidelines issued by the DEPwD on 26th March, 2020 for protection and safety of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) (Divyangjan) during the emergency health situations due to Pandemic COVID 19 – Issue of passes to Care Givers, NGOs/PwDs.

In the letter, it has been said that as per these guidelines, the States Commissioners are required to serve as State Nodal Authority to ensure implementation in close coordination with all relevant authorities such as State/District Disaster Management Authorities, Health and Law Enforcement Authorities so that hardship to persons with disabilities during the lockdown period is minimised. It is hoped that the State Commissioners are taking necessary action proactively in accordance with the above guidelines.

As per these guidelines, (a) local movement passes for caregivers of persons with disabilities during lockdown needs to be issued in a simplified manner on priority, and (b) the persons with disabilities are also required to be given access to essential food, water, medicine. It may further be noted that NGOs and Association of PwDs are also working to assist Divyangjan in their daily living and essential items. There is need to have coordination with these organizations to ensure smooth flow of support services for PwDs.