Thank government for relaxing age for assistance and forming separate department

Thanking the State government for age relaxation for assistance and for formation of a separate department for the differently abled persons, 17 members of the Cuddalore District Handicapped Persons' Progressive Association have given in writing their consent to donate organs.

Association president P.K. Santhosh told The Hindu that he recently handed over a letter to Collector P. Seetharaman, which carried their signature and photographs, and expressed their willingness to donate organs.

Mr. Santhosh said that it was only a token gesture as about 200 of 1,500-member association were ready to follow suit. He said that not long ago, the differently abled were considered a liability on the family and society.

But, with a plethora of schemes launched for their welfare and financial assistance extended, they could lead a decent and dignified life. Moreover, the formation of a separate department for their sake would go a long way in improving their life and providing uplift.

Mr. Seetharaman said that he had instructed Joint Director of Health Services T. Jayaveerakumar to take follow-up action on the letter. Dr. Jayaveerakumar said that the formalities of filling in the prescribed forms had been initiated.

They could donate organs in two ways: in case of brain death following accidents multiple organs could be harvested; and, even while alive they could donate organs such as kidneys, he said.

Mr. Seetharaman further said that identity cards had been issued to all 27,163 differently abled persons in the district who were dominant in the Kattumannarkoil, Nallur, Vriddhachalam, Thittakudi and Mangalore blocks.

In 2009, the district administration had identified 2,591 differently abled persons above 45 years of age and with 80 per cent disability for monthly maintenance allowance of Rs. 500 each.

However, under the Indira Gandhi National Pension Scheme another 1,281 persons in the 18-64 age group were included for assistance. During 2009-10, financial assistance and aid implements worth over Rs. 2.71 crore was disbursed and for 2010-11 a sum of Rs. 2.08 crore would be released for their welfare.

Mr. Seetharaman also said that the number of special self-help groups consisting only differently abled persons would be raised from 167 to 467 by next year.