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The current policy approach to the concerns for the physically challenged, as reflected through the budget, has been contested by activists in the field. At a press conference organised by the National Forum of Organisations Working with the Disabled (NFOWD) on Saturday, the speakers made some important recommendations. Most of them thought that multi-ministerial approach should be preferred to handling by a single ministry i.e. social welfare ministry of the projects on the physically challenged people. The concept of social welfare as applied to the physically challenged is a bit too traditional, vague and charitable smacking of compassion that is not good for their self-esteem. That they are only differently-abled and not 'disabled' should be recognised by the policy-makers which in turn would help instill a sense of self-worth in the physically challenged. They need to be treated as a potential human resource capable of being harnessed in national development efforts. The single ministry approach emphasises the social security measures for those people at the expense of their other concerns like education, skill training, employment, and sports and recreation The issue of their all-round development being a 'cross-cutting' one, requires coordination among the ministries of social welfare, health, education, culture, youth and sports, finance and information and communications for carrying out

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