Coronavirus-news April 4, 2020
In a welcome move, Tamil Nadu government to issue curfew passes to caregivers of disabled people
The Tamil Nadu State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Johny Tom Varghese has said that all caregivers of disabled people in the state can get curfew passes to go outdoors during lockdown which will be issued by government authorities. This is indeed a welcome move because many disabled people who stay alone with their caregivers find it difficult to purchase groceries and even medicines during this lockdown period by going outdoors. Disabled people in the state gives a thumbs up for this initiative.
When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced for a 21 days lockdown of the country, millions of people were affected in many ways. Amongst those were people with disabilities, especially those who are staying alone with their caretakers. The government and state police officials have also made it stricter and no person is now allowed go outdoors without due permission. To make things easier for caretakers of disabled people, the state government has now issued curfew passes to caregivers of disabled people. The disabled community of Tamil Nadu says that this is a great initiative.
The many struggles of disabled people
According to reports, there are thousands of disabled people in the state who are staying alone. While many live with their families, some others can afford to have a paid caregiver. In the wake of Section 144 being imposed in Tamil Nadu to control movement of crowd, people are hesitant to go outdoors. The police force are ensuring stricter rules during these tough times. A person can go outside only after getting a pass from the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) or other concerned officials.
Many disability rights activist and members from the community have been raising the demand for an exclusive curfew pass for caregivers. Under the guidance of Johny Tom Varghese, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, a caregiver pass has now been issued.
TMN Deepak, Founder, 3 December Movement, says that the curfew passes is going to be a blessing to many. Deepak is also a prominent disability rights activist from the state.
Most of the times, it is difficult to travel from one part of the city to another during this lockdown period. Disabled people and their caregivers find this very hard. The government has been giving passes based on medical needs. So this latest pass is indeed beneficial. Our current disability commissioner is very effective. Getting these curfew passes are a combined effort of many disabled people of the state and associations too- TMN Deepak, Founder, 3 December Movement.
A much needed initiative
Most of the parents who have disabled children feels this initiative is great. They do not plan to avail the pass unless it is inevitable to go outdoors. Like Radha Ramesh, Director of NGO Vidyasagar. Radha who has a son with cerebral palsy says, “As of now, I do not need the pass. But will get it if required. For most children with disabilities, parents are the caretakers. But there are many disabled people in the state who have only one caretaker whom they are reliant on. This is indeed a welcome move by the state government and will be a relaxation to many”, says Radha.
Ranjini’s 10 year old son Vinayak has autism. Ranjini says, “Issuing curfew passes to caregivers is a great relief to the differently abled community. I thank the state disability commissioner for that and his prompt action. Without these curfew passes, many differently abled people would not have been able to avail the benefits which the government gives to them during this lockdown period”.
Ranjini further adds, “Older parents having adult children with autism are having hard days due to lack of external caregivers. They have to manage the household work and children at the same time. People with autism needs attention throughout the day, both physically and mentally. The passes are a great relief to families of children with special needs”.
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