Tamil Nadu

Denied posting despite holding appointment order, alleges visually-impaired woman

A visually-impaired woman, who cleared the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) Group IV exams, has alleged that a government department has refused to accommodate her and accept her appointment order issued by the TNPSC owing to her disability.

K. Thamarai, a resident of Tiruvannamalai, had been informed by the TNPSC that she was selected provisionally for appointment by direct recruitment to the post of Junior Assistant in the Stationery and Printing Department.

“I got my appointment order in March and due to the delay owing to COVID-19, I and a few others who were selected were asked to join on August 17. However on that day, the others who went to the department were given their responsibilities and I was told at the Commissioner's office that the job wasn’t suitable for me, as I am visually-impaired,” she alleged. She said that she cleared the Group IV exams with a score of 202 marks and that she has two small children to support.

A letter that Ms. Thamarai subsequently received from the Stationery and Printing Department indicated that since she does not have any technical certifications and wasn’t certified to carry out book binding work, the department was unable to accommodate her. The letter further stated that there were already two visually impaired persons, who were telephone operators and owing to that, there were no vacant positions.

“I have received an appointment as a junior assistant and my role has nothing to do with book binding. The letter I received also pointed out that I was visually impaired, had taken up the Group IV exams with a scribe and used braille to read. Why should these be held against me?,” Ms. Thamarai questioned.

C. Govindakrishnan, founder, Nethrodaya said that the department has discriminated against Ms. Thamarai, which was a violation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.

"It is the duty of every government establishment to provide reasonable accommodation and a barrier-free as well as a conducive environment for its employees with disabilities,” he said. He has, further, submitted a letter to the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, asking for action to be initiated, as well as conduct a detailed inquiry, as to why Ms. Thamarai has been denied a posting in the department.

The Commissioner for the Department of Stationery and Printing was unavailable for comment.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 2:47:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/denied-posting-despite-receiving-appointment-order-alleges-visually-impaired-person/article32968406.ece

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