Health Department issues a set of guidelines to be followed for issuing rail concession
When all things failed, the Health Department stepped in to the rescue of Tamil Selvi, a Dalit disabled woman, who has been fighting for rail concession for the last one and a half years.
In a set of guidelines issued on Wednesday, Health Secretary J.Radhakrishnan said: “Rail Concession Certificate should be given in prescribed forms issued for the purpose, to be filled by doctors. The certificate should contain the doctor’s seal and register number and the seal of the government hospital.”
Additionally, the letter mentioned the instance of Tamil Selvi, polio-affected and with a consequent orthopaedic disability, being denied such a certificate on the grounds that she is capable of walking without support. The Hindu had reported of the travails of Tamil Selvi earlier.
“Any orthopaedically-handicapped person like her will not be able to travel without the assistance of an escort, considering that at railway stations, one has to walk and also climb from the platform…”
Subjective interpretation in such cases to deny the applicant of concession goes against the spirit of the Persons With Disabilities Act.
The letter has been addressed to the heads of all government medical units in the State
The Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers has welcomed these guidelines.