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No career counsellor for disabled at welfare office

There is every possibility that a person with disability (PwD) approaching the district differently-abled welfare office here regarding employment guidance will get the guidance only by a receptionist

Published: 31st October 2017 10:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st November 2017 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

CHENNAI: There is every possibility that a person with disability (PwD) approaching the district differently-abled welfare office here regarding employment guidance will get the guidance only by a receptionist. The sanctioned post of vocational guidance officer (VGO) is lying vacant for several years, forcing other staff to take over its responsibility.

The welfare office in Teynampet implements all government schemes for the benefit of PwD in Chennai. According to sources in the department, the post of VGO was sanctioned by the government in 2005. “It was done with the intention to engage visually impaired or orthopedically challenged persons who have completed masters in social work. The post is sanctioned only in five districts, including Chennai, Madurai and Nagapattinam,” the source said.

The VGO is instrumental in providing vocational assistance, explaining self-employment opportunities by availing subsidies and loans provided by government besides briefing about government employment exams. The non-appointment has led to claims from other staff being overworked, as they say the office is already short-staffed. “The VGO post is lying vacant for the past six years; we don’t even have a typist here. We are forced to do handle the work. There are atleast 100 people visiting the office daily for assistance,” a staffer told City Express.

Some of the schemes they handle are issuing ID cards, distributing free assistive devices, scholarships and monthly allowances. “In Chennai, there are roughly 45,000 PwDs. At times, we are required to work on Sundays as well,” the staffer said.

Activists say shortage of staff has great impact as the disabled do not receive proper explanations about career opportunities. “Filling key posts in district welfare offices is our long pending demand. It can lead to better service,” said S Namburajan, General Secretary, Tamilnadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled & Caregivers.



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