Tamil Nadu disability group seeks financial aid, to protest today
The Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC) is all set to hold peaceful protests today in over 400 centres across the state seeking financial assistance for disabled people. Due to the lockdown, many people with disabilities have lost their jobs and are struggling to meet ends. By protesting, the TARATDAC hopes that concerned officials will note their needs.
Due to the lockdown, thousands of people with disabilities across India are struggling to survive amid a pandemic. NGO’s and disability rights activists have reported how many are starving due to lack of food and money to buy even drinking water. Most of them have not received their disability pension too.
The Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC) is holding a protest today across the state raising concerns of people from the disability community.
Poor compensation for disabled people
According to government census taken in the year 2011, there are over 11 lakh people with disabilities in Tamil Nadu. The numbers would only have risen by now. The state government is only paying a meagre pension of ₹ 1,500 to people with disabilities while rest of the Southern states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Puducherry pay bigger amounts to their disabled citizens. Though disability rights groups have notified this to concerned officials, the pension amount has not been risen nor has any substantial action been taken.
Due to the pandemic and spread of COVID-19, disabled people in the state are struggling very hard. “Many disabled people are dependent on daily wages. They do not have any money to survive on right now. Since the past one and half months, they are starving. The condition of thousands of disabled people from economically backward families is only getting worse”, says S Namburajan, General Secretary, TARATDAC.
There are many people with intellectual disabilities and convulsions. “They have been unable to even get their medicines due to lack of money during this pandemic”, adds Namburajan.
Pleas unheard until now
Soon after the lockdown began, TARATDAC sent a memorandum to concerned officials and even state ministers requesting for monetary help for disabled people. They have not received anything till date. When international rules and even the RPWD Act, 2016 clearly highlights on the need for supporting disabled people during a pandemic, why is Tamil Nadu state government not paying attention to needs of a community is what activists wants to know.
“We are going to protest across 400 centres. This includes taluks, panchayats, rural and urban areas. We will have peaceful protests and wear protective equipment including masks and gloves. All the protestors will follow social distancing as well”, says Namburajan.
The TARATDAC protest is aimed to help disabled people get financial assistance during the pandemic, especially for the next few months because there will be lack of employment.
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