The state government will increase the monthly pension from the existing Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per month to those who are 100 per cent disabled from January. The government is also considering issuing of 3G mobile phones to the hearing impaired who are professionals.
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy made the announcements at the ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ function organised by the department for women, children, disabled and senior citizens on Tuesday at Ravindra Bharathi for which he was the chief guest.
Recalling his days as a student at Nizam College, the chief minister said that he won student president post by a margin of 9 votes which were from the disabled. He mentioned that more than sympathy, if the disabled were given equal opportunities they will excel in their goals.
He pointed out that they did not get required results in issuing Rs 600 crore loans through SHGs, but assured that they will discuss this in the next bankers’ meet and ensure to give loans to the disabled groups. He announced a couple of other schemes for the disabled which are under consideration.
Minister for welfare of women, child and disabled V Sunitha Laxma Reddy stated that they are ensuring to protect rights of disabled with the help of NGOs and activists. She mentioned that through ICDS they are taking steps towards prevention and early detection of disability causing diseases in every district. She requested the chief minister to constitute a state commission especially for the disabled and that a physically challenged person should head it.
Students from various schools and institutions for the disabled enthralled the audience with their music and dance performances. Certificates and prizes were distributed to students who won in annual sports competitions.
Disabled Students Protest
Meanwhile, as soon as chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy rose to speak, a group of around 75 disabled students from the city raised slogans against him demanding certain provisions for them. Swamy Naik, a BA student at the Nizam College, who was part of the group said that instead of ipods, they should be given ipads by the government as the former devices fail to operate after a year. “Our personal reading charges (PRC) should be increased from `2,000 to ` 5,000 and instead of netbooks which are difficult to operate, it will be helpful if we are provided with laptops,” he demanded. The group which protested in the auditorium were taken out by the security personnel.