CHENNAI: For thousands of differently-abled job aspirants living in rural areas of Tamil Nadu, applying online for the TNPSC-Group 1V Exam is proving to be a Herculean task. Lack of disabled-friendly internet kiosks coupled with necessity to pay fees using credit/debit cards and insistence on scanned certificates are proving to be big challenges for them.
Manikandan (28), an orthopaedically-handicapped person from Vellimedupettai village near Tindivanam is one among them. “Internet kiosks are available only in Tindivanam, 10 kms away from my village.. Unfortunately all the internet centres are either on the first floor or the second floor,” he said.
It’s of no good even if he manages to climb the stairs with great difficulty. “As I do not know how to fill an online application form, I ask for help from those at the kiosk. They are always busy. So far, I have come to Tindivanam six times trying to apply online,” he said.
There are many others who are facing similar problems. “Previously I could send anyone to buy an application form from a nearby shop. Travelling by bus and climbing stairs to reach an internet centre is very difficult for me. So I think I wont apply this year,” Senthamilselvi (27) from Poothukudi village in Thiruvarur said.
The other challenge is scanning of certificates. Previously they just have to get a photocopy which worked out to be much cheaper. They have to scan some 15 certificates, and each page is costing `20-25.
Maheshwari (29) said, “Most of the handicapped people are very poor. By making the application process online, the government is now making people like us to spend more money.”
And the examination fee of `250 has to be paid online using a credit or a debit card. “How many of these poor rural handicapped people are having there own credit card to pay the fee? Believing that they are making things simpler for the people, the government has actually made things much difficult for the people,” observed Boopathy, vice president of Federation of Tamil Nadu Handicapped Association.