Goa, Jan 8 (PTI) In a first, a national toll-free helpline catering to all disability-related queries was launched on Monday.
Launched during the Purple Festival International by Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale and Disabilities Affairs Secretary Rajesh Aggarwal, the 24/7 helpline -- 1800 22 2014 -- aims to facilitate assistance for individuals with disabilities.
Aggarwal stressed the need for a disability information line to provide easy access to information on disabilities and local services, streamlining the rehabilitation process.
"This initiative stands out as the first IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System) helpline dedicated to addressing disability-related queries, covering 153 categories across 21 disabilities," he told reporters.
The helpline's services include information on disability prevention, management, educational opportunities in special schools, and details about central and state government schemes, Aggarwal said.
"Additionally, it offers insights into vocational training, job opportunities, and specifics about special employment exchanges," he said.
"By offering information on identification, intervention, education, assistive devices, and socio-economic rehabilitation, the helpline aims to reduce the need for families to incur unnecessary and expensive transportation costs," he added.
The secretary noted that the advanced cloud-based IVRS solutions deployed for this helpline are cost-efficient and quicker to implement compared to on-premises systems.
Leveraging existing infrastructure in six telephone circles in India, the helpline caters to the linguistic and diverse needs of persons with disabilities and their families, he said.
The launch took place during the inauguration ceremony of the International Purple Fest Goa 2024, a celebration emphasizing diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment on a global scale. Stay tuned for updates on this remarkable journey towards a more inclusive future. PTI UZM CK