Tamil Nadu disability rights organizations to protest for grants post-lockdown
On 10 June, prominent NGOs from Tamil Nadu are gearing up to protest against the state government’s insensitivity to reach out to disabled people during lockdown. They are demanding that 5000 rupees must be provided at least as a one-time grant for disabled people in the state, a vulnerable community that has suffered a huge setback due to lockdown.
The Tamil Nadu government has initiated a few projects for the state’s disabled community during lockdown, but activists have pointed out that there is much more to be done. Prominent NGOs December 3 Movement and Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently-Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC) are gearing up to protest against the insensitivity of state officials towards needs and requirements of disabled people during the Coronavirus times and lockdown. The organisations are demanding that state government must provide at least ₹ 5000 on a monthly basis to people with disabilities from across the state. Hundreds of disabled people will hold a peaceful protest in front of the disability offices across the state on 10 June. The protests will continue till justice is served.
Reaching out to Tamil Nadu’s disabled people
The ongoing lockdown that has still not be fully taken out has affected lakhs of people from across India. Many lost their jobs and many others are struggling to make ends meet. India’s disabled community is one of the worst affected.
Ever since the lockdown started, disability rights activists from the state has been demanding for Corona relief funds, but officials have not paid any attention to the demand.
TMN Deepak, Founder, December 3 Movement, says that the amount must provided at least as a one-time grant.
This is a demand amongst disabled people across the country. In Tamil Nadu, the government does not speak to us when we demand answers from them regarding this. Instead, they are painting a picture saying that they have done things for the state’s disabled community. What they have done is not enough. There are thousands of disabled people who are still searching in the dark for answers. – TMN Deepak, Founder, 3 December Movement
Currently, people with certain disabilities are provided with Rs 1500 as monthly pension. Due to lockdown, the amount for three months was given in advance. But in a state where there are over 11 lakh disabled people, there is much more to be done!
Protest for the right reasons
According to the current state of affairs in the state, 77% of the disabled population depends on their family for survival and meeting their needs. Many family members have lost jobs and are unable to feed others. The rest 23% are working on their own to earn a living. But due to lockdown, they have also been affected.
The state government claimed that they have provided maintenance for people with severe disabilities which is over 2 lakh people. Over 1 lakh disabled people have called to the state helpline number. “That only makes it 3 lakh people, but Tamil Nadu’s disabled population is way above that. That is the reason why we want justice and speedy action”, adds Deepak.
The protests that begins on 10 June will happen in all disability office headquarters across the state. If no results are yielded, protestors are planning to extend it until justice is served.
Our only demand is that the state government must provide us with Rs 5000 monthly amount to all disabled people in the state. We have been trying for this since last three months, but nothing is being done”, says S Namburajan, General Secretary, TARATDAC.
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