CHENNAI: Humdreds of members belonging to Persons With Disabilities staged a daylong protest in the premises of Ezhilagam, the building that hosts offices of several top government officials. They braved odds in continuing their protest throughout the day to have their demands heard, most importantly the demand to reduce the minimum degree of disability to 40 per cent to avail of concessions.
The protest was organised by four different organisation - National Federation of the Blind, Tamil Nadu State Federation of the Deaf, Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Type of Differently Abled Caregivers (TARATDAC) and the December 3 Movement.
December 3 Movement, president, TNM Deepak said, in neighbouring states of Telangana and Kerala the minimum degree of disability is 40 percent to avail of concessions, whereas in Tamil Nadu it is 65 percent which is contradictory to the Act of Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
Also the GO passed by the government states that only a differently-abled person who is destitute is entitled to receive a monthly allowance should be revoked. “This is against the existing laws and the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities,” said, Veerapandiyan, a member of TARATDAC who had come from Vellore to participate in the protest.
The members urged that the monthly allowance should be changed and ` 5,000 as part of disability allowance. The third demand was action on a promise to make the entire surroundings barrier-free.
“More sign language tutors should be involved in public meetings to make it easier for hearing impaired people to understand,” said Jamal Ali, President,Tamil Nadu State Federation of the Deaf.