Members belonging to the differently abled community have sought political reservation for the disabled in the upcoming parliamentary election.
At a State-level meeting conducted by the Tamil Nadu Crawling Differently-abled Federation here on Sunday, representatives of various organisations working for persons with disabilities took part and adopted various resolutions which include political reservation for the differently abled during the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, need to educate the public and disabled people about the democratic right to contest in elections, and to drum up support to the political party that promises to fulfil their demands.
“We have time and again knocked the doors of the Government for making barrier-free environment a reality for us, both in the public and private space. Yet, there has been no response,” the members rued.
The association proposes to send its demands to all political parties. “The one that accepts our demands will get our full support,” said K.J.T. Pushparaj, State President, Tamil Nadu Crawling Differently-abled Federation. “We will prove to them that we are capable of serving the society,” he added.
At the programme, members put forth demands such as ensuring the effective implementation of the three per cent reservation quota in employment, proper enforcement of welfare schemes, and providing free pattas. However, the most prominent demand remained the one for a barrier-free environment.
“We need representation in the government, only then will our demands get noticed and the public will become aware of our needs. And for that to happen, we need to contest the elections, said S. Raja, State Secretary of the Federation.
The participants shared the problems they encountered in accessing public services and complained of the discrimination shown towards them in policy making.
Further, the representatives said that they would go it alone in the elections, if their demands are not met by the political parties. Around 80 persons from 16 districts participated in the meeting.