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Kerala government fails to hike monthly pension amount, disability rights groups are furious

March 27, 2019

The Disability Pension Scheme of the central government for people with disabilities across India is something that has benefitted many people, especially those who are unable to earn a living due to mobility issues, etc. So, when the Kerala government promised a Rs 200 hike in this amount for people with a disability of 80% and more, there was much happiness. Except, that it remains on paper.

The hike would have meant an increase from Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,500 for people with 80% disability and above. For those below this, the amount would have been Rs 1,300 as against the previous Rs 1,100. Disability rights groups are now seeking answers from the government. Many of the beneficiaries, especially those with mobility issues, are struggling to manage with the earlier amount.

Vasudevan Pattazhi of the All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation (AKWRF), says the existing amount is too meagre.

How can a disabled person live independently with a meagre amount of Rs 1,300 on a monthly basis? They are unable to go to work or do anything of their own. I firmly believe that it is high time that the government increases the pension amount to at least Rs 3,000 every month. This is not too much to ask for. Moreover, the promised hike of Rs 200 has not yet been received by anyone. We are yet to reach out to concerned authorities regarding the matter. But this is disheartening. Pension amount must be given according to a person's disability. -Vasunni Pattazhi, Working President, AKWRF

NGOs and people from disabled community are taking this up seriously.

"We hope this matter is address urgently. People with severe disabilities cannot even go for work. Expecting them to live on such a small amount every month is insensitivity. Moreover, the promised hike of Rs 200 is also not provided, said Dr Lyse Bin Muhammad of the AKWRF.

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