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YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, September 6. /TASS/. The Social Insurance Fund in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk has presented a local handicapped activist of the All-Russia People’s Front, Stepan Papilian, with a TV set without taking the trouble to find out the man has a major vision disability. Moreover, Papilian is still hopelessly waiting for a white cane that would let him move about the city, although he applied for it back six months ago, the press-office of the Sakhalin’s regional office of the APRF said.
"A very strange gift it was. In the meantime, it’s for a rather long time that I’ve been waiting for them to give me such essentials as a white cane and a talking medical thermometer. I still don’t have them. Instead they brought me a TV. Even if I decide to give it back, it will be a great problem for me to go for an audience with the chiefs of the regional Fund. I don’t have a cane and it will be difficult for me to move about Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk… The real tragedy is not that I am blind, though. The tragedy is the bureaucrats seldom give thought to what they do," Papilian is quoted by the APRF’s press-service as saying.
According to the ARPF, Papilian’s insistent demands have persuaded the local authorities to create a convenient road crossing at a crossroads that had long been a scene of frequent road accidents involving pedestrians.
Also, Papilian has been rather active in briefing the local authorities on how best to spend government-provided funds to meet the needs of the disabled.
"Regrettably, quite often disabled people have no chance of getting the rehabilitation items they need and are entitled to. The services that are obliged to cater to the needs of those with physical impairments should reconsider their attitude and to protect socially vulnerable people," the report quotes the co-chairman of the regional office of the APRF as saying.
TASS has had no comments from the regional Social Insurance Fund yet.