ANDHRA PRADESH

Physically-challenged seek fair deal

Staff Reporter

KHAMMAM: A good number of dwarf persons joined the physically-challenged in their protest against delay in certification of their disability and implementation of the pension benefit.

Spearheaded by the Progressive Organisation for Women (POW) and the PYL activists, they squatted in front of the Collectorate right from morning to press for their demands which included allocation of Rs. 400 crores for the handicapped welfare in the annual budget. They also demanded a 3 per cent budgetary allocation in all departments for the physically- handicapped. They wanted implementation of the welfare measures be monitored by a separate panel.

They sought a special allocation of Rs. 10 crores each for the welfare of the dwarf persons, mentally retarded and those suffering from leprosy. Seeking a hike in scholarship for the handicapped students, they called for certification of their disability in a genuine way. Any certification with less than 40 per cent disability would be of no use, they said.

Addressing the protesters, POW State joint secretary Chandra Aruna said that many physically-challenged persons were genuinely in need of financial assistance and sought a monthly pension of Rs. 1,500 and 9 per cent reservation.

POW district president K. Kalpana ssaid that there were 80,000 physically-challenged persons in the district. PYL district leader C.Y. Pullaiah and G. Sakru wanted political reservations for them as well.

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