For Megala, a hearing and speech impaired woman in her early 40s, it is a harrowing experience every time she steps into government offices to receive her monthly financial assistance.
She is neither able to read or write to communicate with the officials. However, this is not just the case of Megala. A large number of women like Megala who took part in the Differently Abled Women’s Conference here on Thursday, sought the appointment of a sign language interpreter at government offices.
The conference was organised by the Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers, along with the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA). In the inaugural address, CPM MLA K Bhimrao said, “Today, differently-abled persons are utilised by anti-social elements to commit crimes as they will get sympathy if caught by the police or public. Providing them protection should be the prime responsibility of the government.”
Dr V Devaki said, “Differently-abled persons are repeatedly abused, both physically and mentally. Not only are disabled women physically abused, an equal number of disabled men too face the peril. Both parents share an equal responsibility while taking care of their differently-abled children, irrespective of earning capacity.”
Towards the end, resolutions demanding 3 per cent reservation in employment opportunities and promotions, monthly financial assistance of Rs 3,000 and ID cards for differently-abled persons in every district of the State among others, were adopted unanimously.