On the occasion of NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s birthday on December 12, the Department of Social Justice will launch an ambitious scheme of distribution of gadgets to 29 lakh persons with disabilities through MahaSharad Digital Platform. It will be available on Play Store by March 2021.

Already the state cabinet has cleared the rural prosperity scheme after Pawar, who turns 80 on Saturday. In addition, the Public Health Department has announced that patients at government hospitals will get free blood from Saturday onwards as they will not have to pay processing charges of Rs 800.

Minister of Social Justice Dhananjay Munde said, “The digital platform 'MahaSharad' has been created on the lines of 'OLX' app to provide various devices to persons with disabilities free of cost through the Commissionerate of Disability Welfare. The portal http://www.mahasharad.in will be launched on Saturday while the platform will be made available as mobile application on Play Store in the form of Android application by the end of March 2021.” He further stated that the department aims to help 29 lakh persons with disabilities through ‘’Maharashtra System for Health and Rehabilitation Assistance or MahaSharad platform. He added that those in need can start registering on the portal from Saturday.

According to Munde, modern equipment, devices will help divyang (person with disabilities) to lead life like normal individuals. Equipment including Braille kit, hearing machines, prosthetic limbs and battery operated wheelchairs are available in the market but not everybody can afford them.

“Many charitable people and organizations, private companies, entrepreneurs are keen to make such equipment available to persons with disabilities, said Munde.

In a related move, e-Barti mobile app of Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute Pune (BARTI) has been developed and it will also be launched on Saturday. The E-Barti app will be available on the Player Store from Saturday.

In this app, all the schemes in BARTI including M-Governance, e-library, competitive examination guidance, scholarship scheme can be accessed from a mobile with one click. This application will also be useful for collecting information required for various caste surveys including facilities like caste validity certificate verification, grievance redressal, feedback, said Munde.

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