Two new schemes for disabled students announced by Kerala government
The Kerala government recently launched ‘Vijayamritam’ and ‘Sahachari’ schemes promising financial aid to disabled students from economically backward families. It is mainly for those disabled students who have battled odds to complete their studies. The disabled community says the schemes look great on paper and look forward to their implementation.
Over the few years, the Kerala government has introduced many welfare schemes for disabled people. Minister for Social Justice KK Shailaja has received praise for implementing them well too. Two new social welfare schemes have now been announced and these are for poor disabled students. They are called Vijayamritam and Sahachari.
Vijayamritam offers a one-time cash award to meritorious disabled students for good performance in degree/ equivalent courses, Sahachari will encourage National Cadet Corps/National Service Scheme/Student Police Cadet units in schools who offer assistance to disabled students with over 40% disability in their studies as well as extra-curricular activities.
New schemes primarily for poor disabled students
Rajeev Palluruthy, Secretary, All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation (AKWRF) says that the state government has previously introduced schemes for disabled students.
There are many disabled students who are battling odds to complete their studies. Recently, the government had selected some kids for their welfare schemes. I was also part of the team. This latest Vijayamritam scheme is encouraging for many disabled students. We hope this will be rightly implemented. Many polices are introduced and then we don’t hear anything about it. – Rajeev Palluruthy, Secretary, All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation
Vijayamritam is for students who have struggled to pass out degree, post-graduation (PG) and other professional courses in flying colours. Disabled students who have above 40% disability from all government and government approved colleges can apply for the scheme. Those from professional and parallel colleges or distance education programmes can also apply. Criteria to apply is that the student must have passed the course in first chance. They must have scored a 60% (in science) or 80% (in arts).
15 eligible candidates will be picked from each district of Kerala. Students who have passed degree with the above criteria will be given Rs 8000. Those who have completed PG will be given Rs 10,000.
Husna Ameen, a blind computer trainer says similar schemes for poor disabled students announced by the Kerala government have been helpful. But she hopes they will be opened to a wider pool of students.
“Government scholarship schemes are going well. When a disabled student receives monetary benefits, they will be encouraged to study further”, says Husna. “What happens though that most of the schemes are for disabled students from poor families. That must not be the criteria. I was denied scholarship because my family income was higher than the government standards. Any support like this can be used to but assistive devices and other aids to make studies easier”.