A job fair should be held exclusively for persons with disabilities to identify job opportunities for them, K. Rajaraman, Commissioner of Civil Supplies said on Thursday. Addressing a function to hand over self-employment assistance to Leprosy Afflicted Persons (LAPs) under the auspices of the Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mr. Rajaraman suggested that corporates could be asked to conduct a job fair for persons with disability.

Though some types of employment were still not accessible for LAPs, there were many self-employment avenues for them, the official said. Mr. Rajaraman assured LAPs who had launched modest self-employment ventures such as making and selling plastic bags, plastic pots and fancy articles, that he would try and get Government departments to procure materials from them.

Referring to the demands by LAPs, Mr. Rajaraman said he would take up their case for old age pension and ration cards. A.Arunachalam, additional director of medical and rural health services, said treatment was only part of the requirements of leprosy patients and vocational rehabilitation was key to helping them build successful lives. Efforts were on to double pension amount from Rs. 500 a month, he said.

Gautamananda, Adhyaksha of Mylapore Math, said the Math would work with government to provide assistance to LAPs.

On Thursday, the Math provided vocational rehabilitation to 20 LAPs. So far, over 1,000 LAPs have been rehabilitated and 10 Self Help Groups have been formed for managing employment initiatives.