THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As part of uplifting the disabled and enabling them to tread into business ventures, the Government of Kerala had rolled out the self-employment support scheme, Kaivalya, and allotted Rs 10 crore for the same. Launched during the tenure of the CPI(M) in 2016, the project is yet to take off. A loan of Rs 50,000 was intended to be given for independent living. The beneficiary has to repay Rs 25,000 by paying Rs 475 every month in five years.
The All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation (AKWRF) has been working for the disabled. “Although it was a good initiative taken by the government, it became stagnant. All of us are wheelchair-bound and have difficulties reaching the training centres. Moreover, the wheelchair-bound beneficiaries didn't have enough money to reach these centres as they were unemployed,” said Lyse Bin Muhammad, state president of All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation.
Over 6,000 people had sent their applications. Albeit, only a few were benefitted. Sindhu Sudevan, district president, All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation (AKWRF), said, “ The project would have been an immense help to the disabled. We also gave written complaints to the minister regarding the delay of the project but nothing has been done yet.” Around 40 applicants hailed from the capital city but none have received any benefit.
In Palakkad, out of the 156 applicants, only three peoples' loans were approved.“It has been two years since they promised a loan of Rs 50,000. We applied after a three-day training. As per their demand, we submitted the necessary proofs yet our efforts were in vain,” said Vasunni Pattazhi, working president of AKWRF, Palakkad and a beneficiary.
In the 2019-20 budget, an amount of Rs 10 lakh was allotted for the welfare of the organisation. In 2018-19,Rs 10 lakh was allotted as grant and in 2017-18 Rs 25 lakh was set aside for the self-employment of the wheelchair-bound but the organisation never received the fund.To protest, AKWRF is conducting a state meet in Bolgatty Palace, Ernakulam,to tackle issues.