Members of various disability fora and NGOs in the State have appealed for the creation of a separate ministry to address the issue of disability.

Petitioning Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, they have stated that hiving off a Ministry to take care of their problems would ensure greater attention to their issues.

A separate department was created in 2009 and a separate Ministry too, following repeated demands, according to members of the Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently-Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC).

In a statement they said that differently abled persons constituted at least 10 per cent of the population in the State. A number of welfare schemes implemented for the benefit of this group of people had been initiated – including distribution of ID cards, running of special schools, monthly maintenance grants – and it would be prudent to constitute a separate department and Ministry to handle this, TARATDAC members argued.

When the AIADMK came to power, the department was merged with the Social Welfare department.

Members of the Tamil Nadu Association for the Welfare of the Differently Abled requested the Chief Minister to continue with the separate department under her direct supervision, and to continue all the welfare schemes provided to persons with disability.