The Tamilnadu Association for the Rights of all Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers has urged the State government to relax the eligibility norms for persons with disabilities to avail of monthly maintenance allowance. Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, State Secretary of the Association S.Namburajan said various conditions, including one stipulating that only those aged above 45 are eligible for the allowance, should be changed. There is also a need to relax the norms which say that the allowance is permissible only to those who do not have an able-bodied person above the age of 18 in the family and that the total value of assets of the family must not be above Rs.5,000. The norms were very old and need to be changed. He said procedures for getting ID cards for persons with disability must be simplified. “Presently people are being made to run around for at least three months to get the cards,” he said.

Honorary State president of the Association H. Ramakrishnan said the State government should launch a scheme whereby doctors would go to villages to identify and certify persons with disability at their homes. State president of the Association P. Jhansi Rani said that the number of persons with disability in the State was relatively small when compared to those in other States. “During the 2011 Census not many enumerators asked questions relating to disabled persons at homes. That data therefore is not very dependable,” she said.

The Association members have planned to hold dharnas near all district taluk offices on September 20 to voice their demands.