Raju Jaidka

Raju Jaidka

Leaving no child behind

Leaving no child behind

It is a medical condition where a virus attacks the mother during pregnancy but the brunt of the infection is borne by the foetus. What makes the congenital rubella (German measles) syndrome particularly frightening is that it can adversely impact one’s hearing, speech and even sight, besides impairing mobility. Once congenital rubella sets in, it is irreversible and could, in extreme circumstances, condemn the afflicted to a life in bed.

Raju Jaidka

They also have come to terms with the possibility that Raju may outlive them and that there will come a stage in life where they will not be around to look after his physical or financial needs.

The Jaidkas realized the magnitude of their responsibility when the extent of Raju’s disability became obvious. Long-term planning seemed imperative. “Planning is done even for normal kids who have to go to school and whose higher education and training needs are to be met," Manju says. “So, it was just like saving for another child. Only in this case, one knows that the child will always need money and there will be no returns."

Raju Jaidka

When Raju was still an infant, they opened a PPF account in his name that was Rs3 lakh on maturity at the age of 18. Being confined to bed, without vision, hearing, speech or mobility, Raju was unable to sign or give his mother power of attorney. This proved to be a problem area because the bank was reluctant to hand over the cheque for the matured sum to the Jaidkas. The issue was resolved after several attempts and the money then was put in a fixed deposit in Raju’s name, under the natural guardianship of his parents.

Raju with his sisters

According to Subhash Lakhotia, a New Delhi-based tax consultant, the possibility of nominees turning hostile and uncooperative is not uncommon. Which is why he insists that having just two people in a trust is not a good idea. There should be at least three or more dependable trustees who, in the event of any member turning self-serving, can be vetoed by a majority. He suggests having a person from the maternal side of the family as a trustee too, since the person would be completely above board.

Dr Shelly and Esha

In fact, Dr Shelly and Dr Aseem Katyal, who live in Gurgaon, had never anticipated that a home craft such as baking would one day become their child’s lifeline. The small, home-run enterprise, which started a couple of years ago, promises to secure Esha’s financial future, while she has the option of operating out of the comfort and security of a familiar environment, under the watchful eye of family.

Esha was diagnosed with “borderline intellect" when she was only two and a half years old. Through her growing-up years, her parents painstakingly tried to build her self-esteem and give her positive reinforcement and financial independence. She was trained through special schools and private counsellors and teachers. The Katyals were fortunate to find Shri Ram School in Gurgaon running an 18-month teachers’ assistant programme in their Special Needs Department.

So, during the first half of the day, Esha is an assistant teacher—marking attendance, handing out notebooks, supervising lunch time and proctoring class, and during the second half, she is a student in special school. Last year, Esha wrote her Class X exams and scored 58% marks in home science.

The tailored curriculum of New Delhi-based National Institute of Open Schooling allowed her to choose subjects of her choice, which could be cleared at her pace. Esha has now taken up courses in English and word processing, in addition to enrolling for an advanced course in bakery from a non-profit organization, Akshay Pratishthan, located in Vasant Kunj. Her routine is chock-a-block. Happy with being busy, like her parents and brother Aneesh, who is studying to be a dentist, Esha is logical enough to put a poser to her mother, “Don’t you think my baking pays me more than my assistantship and I should just bake, bake and bake some more?"

The Katyals have planned and ensured Esha’s financial security through medium- and long-term investments, such as insurance policies with LIC and private insurance companies. They keep putting aside regular sums of money in government bonds.

Esha with her cake

A little savvy financial planning today for a gifted child or someone with disability can not only make you look at the future with confidence, it would also ensure that no child is left behind.

Exemptions under IT Act

The exemption available under the Income-tax Act for the disabled is available u/s 80-U: Conditions for deduction: individual; resident in India; person with disability—any person suffering from disability not less than 40% of any disability as under: blindness; low vision; leprosy-cured; hearing impaired; locomotor disability; mental retardation; and mental illness

The taxpayer has to furnish a copy of the certificate issued by the medical authority. The medical authority for this purpose refers to any hospital or institution specified by notification by the appropriate government agencies for the purpose of the persons with disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995

The deduction available under this section is fixed at 0,000. A higher deduction of 75,000 is allowed for a person with severe disability (over 80%)

Section 80-DD: If the taxpayer incurs any expenditure for the medical treatment (including nursing), training and rehabilitation of a dependant, who is disabled, or has paid or deposited funds under any Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC) policy or any other insurer or the administrator or a specific company, the assessee gets a deduction of 0,000 for both the options ,as mentioned above, and a higher deduction of 75,000 with the person having a severe disability of more than 80%.

Courtesy: Vinod Rawal (CA)

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