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80% of a village’s population speech and hearing impaired; J&K High Court demands action report

Last Updated on February 19, 2021 at 9:26 pm

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court asked the UT Government about the steps it has taken or intends to do in order to better the lives of residents of a village in Jammu, whose 80% population experiences hearing and speech impairment.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Javed Iqbal Wani asked the Government to present action taken report with a report of the University of Jammu consisting of the suggestions or proposals of the government which are intended to be taken in order to get rid of the above impairment from the village.

The Bench remarked that no report which is on record has details about what measures the government proposes to take in order to cure the occurrence of this impairment in the village which is said to be of hereditary genetic nature. The Division Bench also directed the Government to file an affidavit showing the proposed/ sanctioned (i) pensionary benefits and (ii) rehabilitation measures.

The order stated that the government has sanctioned a pension of Rs 1,000/- per month for villagers. Moreover, there is a proposal to establish Vocational Skill Development Courses as rehabilitation measures and Rs 3,25,000/- have been sanctioned for the job.

However, it is still unknown if the said sanctioned amount has actually been released by the government and Vocational Skill Development Courses have been started. The order asked Deputy AG, who is appearing for the State, to obtain instructions and file a fresh affidavit.

The court got to know about this case in November 2018 through a newspaper report. The report stated that around 80% of the total people who live in Paralkot village, situated in Poonch District of Jammu, are deaf and dumb. The government never bothered to send any medical team or even conducted a survey to know the reasons for this problem.

The report further disclosed that no special teachers had ever been deputed by the government to teach the deaf and dumb children of the village. A Division Bench led by then Chief Justice Gita Mittal had taken suo moto cognizance of this matter.

The Court had also ordered to conduct a survey in the entire Union Territory of J&K and Ladakh, to determine if similar problems occur in other areas too.