It was a programme organised by the Karnataka Voice of Physically Handicapped (KVPH) to extend support to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul Gandhi and start “Mission Rahul Gandhi for Prime Minister” campaign.
However, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara, who was to launch the campaign, kept them waiting for nearly three hours. He finally did not even turn up for the event. Congress Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, who was initially not scheduled to attend the programme, inaugurated it at around 2 p.m.
However, people with disabilities did not waste the empty dais. They used it to showcase their talent and keep themselves engaged. While some sang songs, others played instruments to entertain the audience.
N. Sudhindra, KVPH State president, who submitted a memorandum to Mr. Gundu Rao, said there was a need to set up a separate ministry and a development board for the welfare of the disabled.
He appealed to the government to ensure that 5 per cent of the budgetary allocation in each department be spent for the welfare of the disabled. The other demands included recruiting more among them in various departments, boards and corporations. They also demanded a separate ration card for disabled persons, extending the existing bus pass facility to the disabled for travelling across the State. He also urged the government to regularise services of disabled persons who have been appointed on a contract basis.