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People with disabilities demand hike in pension, jobs and Antyodaya cards

Staff Reporter
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Struggle: Members of the Karnataka State Disabled and Caregivers' Federation taking out a protest rally in Bangalore on Friday.
Struggle: Members of the Karnataka State Disabled and Caregivers' Federation taking out a protest rally in Bangalore on Friday.

Expressing anguish over being neglected by the State Government, members of the Karnataka State Disabled and Caregivers' Federation (KSDCF) staged a protest here on Friday.

Holding placards that said: “Employment is our right”, “We need opportunity and not sympathy”, people with disabilites, took out a rally from Bangalore City Railway Station to the Mahatma Gandhi Statue on Anand Rao Circle here.

They urged the Government to provide them jobs in in government offices, zilla and taluk panchayats, and other local bodies.

D. Chandraiah (29) from K.R. Nagar in Mysore district said: “I am not getting pension every month. I have to run from pillar to post to know whether it is credited to my account. Although I am a sportsperson and have won several awards in both State and national-level tournaments, I do not have a job. We should either be given government jobs or be provided financial assistance to take up self-employment.”

Rangappa K., a B.Com., graduate from Chikmagalur said that though he had registered with the employment exchange in Chikmagalur in 2006, he was jobless.Shakuntala (32) of Mysore, a diploma holder and working in a beauty parlour, said she needed financial assistance. “My pension application is pending for the past year.”

Parusharam Gunnavar and Ashok Aminappa Walekar from Bijapur said living on the meagre pension is difficult.

KSDCF president G.N. Nagaraj said the State Government was not treating people with disabilities well. “The Government should introduce a special recruitment process for employing people with disabilities. Three per cent of budgetary allocation should be set aside for the welfare of the people with disabilities,” Mr. Nagaraj added.

The federation demanded hike in pension, free bus and railway passes, and Antyodaya ration cards for all persons with disabilities, besides being given priority while sites and houses are allotted by the Government.

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