(Trinidad Guardian) A multi-million-dollar facility, special buses and food cards are among the goodies the Government will be rolling out for physically challenged people. Minister of the People and Social Development Glen Ramadharsingh revealed these items yesterday as he delivered the feature address at the launch of the Down Syndrome Family Network at Hyatt Regency.
Yesterday also marked World Down Syndrome Day, which has been officially recognised by the United Nations. In his address, the Minister said the Government gave a URP social grant of TT$84.50 to women who cannot work because they have to stay at home to take care of their physically challenged children. He also said that Government would make available a TT$5,000 self-development scholarship for physically challenged people to re-skill, retrain or educate them for employment.
To loud applause, Ramadharsingh said his ministry had started the process of consultations with 18 stakeholder groups to develop a register of such people. He said authorities were also working with the Ministry of Health to categorise the list and once completed, the list would be shared with emergency agencies to facilitate vulnerability mapping in times of disasters.
He said the consultation would end in April and everyone on the list would automatically qualify for a food card and access to special 15-seater buses, which his ministry has successfully lobbied PTSC to provide. Lamenting that this country only has remnants of colonial institutions such as the Princess Elizabeth Home, he said the Government would build an $11.5 million facility in Carlsen Field for disabled people.
This, he said, would eventually be followed up with centres in Toco, Icacos, Moruga and the East. “We intend to mobilise physiotherapists, organise them and offer them contracts for their services,” he said.