SALEM: A controversy has erupted over the awards given to two persons by the Salem district administration on Independence Day for their “services to the differently-abled people”.
Social activists involved in the welfare for the differently-abled have alleged that the awardees - Dr N Mohan, Dean of the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital, and M Senthil Kumar, a physiotherapist - were literal strangers in their circuit.
“The Department for the Welfare of Differently Abled Persons conducted 19 special camps over the past month. Private camps were also conducted in Salem in the last one year. However, both Dr Mohan and Senthil were never spotted in the camps,” alleged G Alagesan, joint secretary, Tamil Nadu Association for the Protection of Rights of Differently Abled People. Pointing out that voluntary organisations and individuals conducted camps and activities for the welfare of the different-abled, he questioned the rationale in choosing the awardees.
“We are clueless as to what service these two have provided to our ilk. We have not even seen them at the Office of the Department for Welfare of the Differently Abled. Senthil, in fact, runs a private clinic in Salem,” he said.
Strangely, when Express contacted the District Differently Abled Welfare Officer C K Thangamani, he said, “We received applications for the award from these two persons. Hence we chose them.”