Disabled groups gather in Kerala capital to raise various demands

Several people with disabilities from across Kerala gathered under the banner of Voice of Disabled outside the Kerala Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram to raise many demands.

Most of them demanded a hike in welfare pension as they said it had become tough to to get a wheelchair through the schemes of the government and local bodies. Also since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has raised the costs of assistive devices by of 5 to 18%, they were facing difficulties.

The base model of the wheelchair would earlier cost Rs. 6,000. After GST, this has gone up to Rs 9,000. Because of the wear and tear these models have to be replaced every few years.

Another demand was for an increase in the welfare pension amount of Rs. 1,100 per month given to the disabled. The lack of ramp facilities in a large number of government institutions even after awareness campaigns was another concern.

Another demand was that temporary jobs given to the disabled through the employment exchange be made permanent.

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