Tamil Nadu

Report sought on assistance to mentally challenged destitutes

The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Commissionerate for the Welfare of the Differently Abled to ascertain the difficulties faced by the mentally challenged abandoned on the roads and file a report on the assistance provided to them during the pandemic.

Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha issued the direction on a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate M. Karpagam through her counsel R. Prabhakaran. The judges asked Additional Advocate General Narmadha Sampath to make sure the report was filed by August 14.

The petitioner claimed that scores of mentally challenged destitutes were roaming around in public places without proper food, clothing and shelter. Her counsel said that even on Monday, there was a news report of 50 such people roaming in Palani, Dindigul district.

Govt. help

Arguing another case seeking financial assistance for the physically challenged, the petitioner’s counsel, B. Ramasamy, claimed that the government had given only ₹1,000 to them so far, as against ₹2,000 paid to hairdressers and as much as ₹4,000 to a few others.

He said the physically challenged were the most affected due to COVID-19 since their mobility had been crippled. They could not move about without the assistance of others because it ultimately ended up compromising the need to maintain physical distancing.

However, the AAG told the court that a government order was issued on June 26 for providing cash assistance of ₹1,000 to 13.35 lakh National Identity and Disability Certificate holders in the State and the distribution at their doorstep had begun.

She said the money was in addition to several other benefits provided to the physically challenged through budgetary allocation, which was ₹667.08 crore for the financial year 2020-21. The allocation for the differently-abled was being increased year after year, she added.

After hearing both of them, the judges adjourned the case to Monday next since one of the case documents was not placed before the Bench.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 11:33:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/report-sought-on-assistance-to-mentally-challenged-destitutes/article32263463.ece

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