Published: 15th August 2021
Disability activists unhappy about budget; say provisions of the Rights to Persons with Disabilities Act have not been implemented
The activists point out that not even 10 per cent of the companies are adhering to this Act and ironically, they are turning away PwDs in interview stating their disability as the shortcoming
Disability rights activists in Tamil Nadu are unhappy over the budgetary allocations for the disability sector. Given the backdrop of the pandemic, more allocations were expected towards helping the community.
"We have been requesting the government to increase monthly disability allowance from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000, just like the neighbouring states of Puducherry and Telangana. The officials did not even bat an eye to this issue. People are suffering financially, especially post the pandemic," said S Namburajan, State General Secretary, Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently-Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC).
Pointing out that scores of disabled persons are homeless, another activist, R Vimal said that compliance with the Rights to Persons with Disabilities Act will help address the issues of poverty and unemployment and this should have been assured in the budget. The Act says 5 per cent of the jobs in the private sector must be reserved for persons with disabilities. Similarly, 4 per cent of the jobs in the government sector are to be reserved for us. However, these provisions are not implemented, according to Vimal. As he puts it, "Persons with disabilities want dignity of life, which can be achieved only if they are empowered with jobs."
The activists point out that not even 10 per cent of the companies are adhering to this Act and ironically, they are turning away PwDs in interview stating their disability as the shortcoming. Discrimination worsens their plight. Moreover, the government has also not adhered to Supreme Court's order in 2013 stating the backlog of vacancies for persons with disabilities must be provided. The members from the community demand a white paper on finding and implementation of these backlog vacancies. They also demand for MNREGA job allotments as the government was supposed to.
What was announced for the sector on Friday?
- To ensure that all the 9,173 eligible persons are provided maintenance allowance of Rs.1,500 per month. The budget allowance for this is Rs.404.64 crore.
- The budget provision for aids and appliances has been enhanced to Rs.50.66 crore
- This Government may introduce a direct subsidy payment mechanism for various types of rehabilitation devices and equipment.
- Tamil Nadu will launch the RIGHTS programme with the assistance from the World Bank to cover early detection and prevention of disabilities, greater access to maintenance and rehabilitation.