THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Over 1,000 persons attended the protest programme organised by various stakeholders in the special education sector in front of the Secretariat on Monday.
Parents, differently-abled above the age of 18, staff and management representatives conducted a 12-hour fast in protest against the government’s neglect towards the children with special needs.Social worker Daya Bai inaugurated the fast.
Dignitaries who attended the event include Shashi Tharoor MP, writer Perumbadavam Sreedharan, Congress leader V M Sudheeran, Latin Archbishop Soosa Pakiam and Swami Gururethnam Jnana Thapaswi. The protest is organised by the Association for Intellectually Disabled (AID), Special Olympics Bharat (SOB), Special School Employees Union (SSEU) and Association for the Welfare of Special School Staff (ASWAS).AID chairman Fr Roy Vadakel welcomed the gathering and SOB director Roy Kannankara delievred keynote address.
Major demand of the protestors was to provide free education to children with special needs. Free vocational training should be given to people with special needs above the age of 18. Lifelong care institutions should be started to look after them after the death of their parents. Job reservation for people with special needs in all possible avenues was another demand.