Shillong, Sept. 10: Differently abled people under the banner of the Khasi Disabilities Association today threatened to re-enact the May 30 march to the state secretariat if the government did not fulfil their demands within two weeks.
On May 30 this year, hundreds of differently abled people and their parents marched to the secretariat to demand their legitimate rights, catching the state government totally unawares.
Association president Starwin Kharjana said the government should increase the number of beneficiaries under the Chief Minister’s Special Assistance Scheme.
At present, only 150 differently abled people aged 18 years and above from each of the 39 blocks in the state are entitled to receive benefits from the scheme in the form of financial assistance of Rs 500 a month.
According to the association, there are approximately 28,000 differently abled people in the state.
Moreover, Kharjana said the unemployment allowance for people with disabilities who had passed Class X and above should be increased from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 a month.
He also expressed dismay on the lack of clarity regarding the three per cent reservation for differently abled people in government jobs.
“There is no clarity on whether we should share the job reservation along with other candidates or we are being accorded a separate reservation altogether. Whenever job vacancies are advertised, we never come across specific reservation being made for the differently abled,” Kharjana said.
He said the government should address the grievances within two weeks or they would be forced to march to the secretariat again.
Kharjana made another allegation, saying that the election authorities had refused to acknowledge differently abled people as genuine voters. “There have been two instances where the authorities have refused to capture the photographs of differently abled people for enrolment as voters. While the state elections minister J.A. Lyngdoh had promised that the enrolment process for differently abled people would be simplified, the reality is different,” he said.