Staff Reporter

RAMANATHAPURAM: The State Government would work with corporate houses and non-governmental organisations for the welfare of disabled, said Poongothai Aladi Aruna, Minister of Social Welfare.

She was speaking at the opening of Centre for Persons with Disability constructed by Vijay Human Services at Aachundhanvayal near here on Wednesday. Suba. Thangavelan, Minister for Slum Clearance, opened the Centre.

The Social Welfare Minister said the allocation for social welfare department, which was just Rs. 37 crore when the DMK Government took over, had been increased to Rs.97 crore. Of this, a whopping Rs.25 crore was allocated for the welfare of mentally retarded people.

It had received good response from the disabled persons and their parents.

More than 32,000 mentally retarded persons were being given monthly assistance of Rs.500 each.

Mrs. Poongodai said the allocation would be increased further in the next year, as the officials were receiving more applications for monthly assistance. The Government was committed to provide all possible help to physically and mentally affected persons.

V.K. Jayakodi, Commissioner for Disabled, said the State was a pioneer in implementing several schemes for disabled. Marriage assistance for disabled couples had been increased from Rs.10,000 to 20,000. Besides distributing free tricycles to all needy persons, it had introduced a scheme to provide motorcycles to the disabled. The Government would introduce new schemes to create livelihood opportunities and training to them.

R. Kirlosh Kumar, Collector, said national identity cards for disabled was given to 11,571 persons.