Tamil Nadu

Differently-abled list their demands

Uplift of the differently-abled rarely figures in the priority of election promises. Governments also ignore most of their demands. With Tamil Nadu set to elect a new government next month, activists have put forth a wish list.

The Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently-Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC) has urged the parties to feature in their manifestos their long-standing demand for the monthly allowance for disabled persons to be increased to a minimum of ₹3,000 and for the severely disabled to ₹5,000. This is similar to what was implemented in Telangana and Puducherry.

“There is no transparency regarding employment opportunities and how the 4% reservation in the public sector, as mandated by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, has been carried out. Employment is what will give us dignity and empower us, and this is something parties should take up seriously,” said S. Namburajan, general secretary, TARATDAC.

The association also said that the 5% reservation for private sector jobs, mandated for the disabled, had largely not been implemented.

Apart from physical accessibility at government offices and public facilities such as transport systems to be taken note of, there is a pressing need to make information more accessible. TARATDAC called for sign language interpreters to be made available at government offices and public facilities, and information disseminated by the government through circulars and speeches to be made available in accessible formats.

Calling for a scientific study to identify jobs available for persons with disabilities, T.M.N. Deepak, State president, December 3 Movement, said whoever is elected to power should take this up. “We are making a strong case for political reservations for the disabled this year, and have urged parties to consider a 5% reservation for the disabled in panchayati raj posts. It is only then we can work at the grassroots level and create an impact about our concerns.”

The December 3 Movement also sought a waiver of registration fees and property tax for the disabled, disability management centres at secondary hospitals and centres to take care of children with intellectual disabilities.

C. Govindakrishnan, founder, Nethrodaya, said the focus should be on the electoral process and how it can be made accessible for all. “The Election Commission should first come forward with clear data about persons with disabilities who are eligible voters. For the visually impaired, the voting process has to be technologically revamped with an audio EVM that can be given with earphones, instead of braille. Most visually-impaired voters now have to take the help of an official at polling booths,” he said.

A common point raised by disability rights activists is the need for proper implementation of provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. “This will take care of a large number of our concerns,” Mr. Namburajan said.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 2:02:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/differently-abled-list-their-demands/article34001378.ece

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