Saturday, March 20, 2010

JK has 6 lakh disabled persons: Study

Srinagar, Mar 20: An alarming situation for the state of Jammu and Kashmir since a report has revealed that there were more than six lakh disabled people with almost 50 percent of them having permanent disability. According to the research conducted by noted Sociologist, Dr Bashir Ahmad Dabla, there were 3,43,632 males and 2,61,708 females with one or other type of disability. While a major chunk 4,59,436 among them live in rural areas and 1,45,904 live in urban areas. “3,02,670 person have total disability while 2,08,713 had disability in seeing followed by 37,965 having disability in movement. There are 24,879 people with mental disabilities followed by 16,956 with disability in speech and 14,157 in hearing,” it reveals. On mental health and movement disabilities, the research says: “The figures about movement and mental disability decade ending 2001 seem underscored. This is more correct about the figures, which may come up about the decade following 2001. It is because of prevalence of armed conflict in the Kashmir region and its physical and psychological implications in the last decade.” “It was in this background that while general hospitals received exceptionally higher number of movement disabilities, the sole psychiatric hospital in Kashmir experienced unusual rush of mental health patients. The local experts in the field revealed in the recent years that one out of every 6 - 7 Kashmiris face one or the other psychological problem/s seriously,” it added. Among the permanent disabled persons, the research reveals, that 1,21,162 were literates while 1,81,508 were illiterates. “While 93,228 among disability in seeing persons were literates, 1,15,485 were illiterates. Among movement and mental disability persons, 13,362 and 7,778 were literates and 24,206 and 17,091 were illiterates respectively.” However, the alarming aspect of the research is comparison with other states. While the national average of disabilities was 2.12 percent, Jammu and Kashmir has 3 percent disabled persons.
“It seems realistic to compare the disability scene in J&K with Punjab [which also faced the militancy situation in 1980s], Himachal Pradesh [which shares the hilly and demographic character with J&K], and Chandigarh [a relatively stable and peaceful area]. While Punjab has only 1.74 percent disabled population, Himachal has 2.56 percent and Chandigarh 1.72 percent,” the research revealed. “The levels of disability can be explained in terms of contributing factors which include dietary inputs, health profile, and hereditary reasons and so on. But, the highest levels of disability in J&K can be explained in terms of militancy situation, especially in the increasing cases of movement disability and mental disability,” it added. The border districts in J&K face extreme form of disability. Varmul and Poonch districts had 3.87 percent and 3.80 percent cases while Doda had 3.29 percent, Kupwara 3.25 percent and Rajouri 3.15 percent. Prof Dabla said during last one decade, the state faced extreme form of violence. “So, there is every possibility of heavy increase in the injured persons. Consequently, this had led to highest level of disabled persons. This will certainly reflect in the next census to be carried out in 2011,” he added.

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