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."

Being in a salaried job with two young girls and Raju meant that “saving was a luxury and a necessary evil, something that had to be done for a rainy day," says Manju—and it was safe conservative saving instruments such as Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC) policies, fixed deposits, Public Provident Fund (PPF) and some National Savings Certificates (NSCs) which were natural choices, over other riskier options such as stocks or mutual funds, which were dependent on markets. All of the Jaidkas savings have their daughters as beneficiaries. “While we may not have a specific target in terms of creating a corpus fund for him, we have put a fixed amount in a fixed deposit and the rest we keep saving on a floating basis, as and when there is money that can be put aside," says Manju.

Raju with his sisters

Last year, the Jaidkas set up a trust for Raju. Manju is aware that there are cases where family members, blood relations and even siblings turn greedy. But she is quick to point out that there are institutions too that are run by unscrupulous people. “The trust we formed is run by a recognized bank and the trustees are my husband and I, with our two daughters, who (thank heavens) are normal," she says. “So, one hopes for the best." They have taken a collective decision of not placing Raju in institutional care, since they say “the worst of homes are better than the best of institutions" and, more so, because the daughters are completely willing and ready to shoulder the responsibility of their brother when the time comes.

Manju and Vickram Jaidka

transformed her life, much like a fairytale. Katyal, 22, spends most of her productive time baking beauties that literally sell like hot cakes. She is proud of her achievement because she fought her medical condition to find a niche in society.

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. Through a tie up, Esha later secured a placement with St. Mary’s School, located in Vasant Kunj in New Delhi, where she worked as a volunteer. After two years, when the school had to accommodate a fresh class of interns, Shelly’s renewed effort landed Esha at a lesser-known but sensitized set-up within Colonel Satsangi’s Kiran Memorial School, located in Chattarpur, also in New Delhi, where she is part of the institution’s s earn ’n’ learn programme.

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 Rs50,000. 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 Rs50,000 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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