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Coal town children deprived of disability grants

Parents whose earnings have become negligible during the pandemic, survived on the govt pension since last year

Praduman Choubey Dhanbad Published 24.06.21, 07:26 PM
A disabled student Rani Kumari (second from left) with special educator Akhlaque Ahmad (in sky blue shirt) at Shalimar in Jharia on Thursday.

A disabled student Rani Kumari (second from left) with special educator Akhlaque Ahmad (in sky blue shirt) at Shalimar in Jharia on Thursday. Picture by Shabbir Hussain

More than 50 physically and mentally challenged students belonging to economically weaker sections of society enrolled at different special education centres are deprived of their disability pension for several months at a time when the Covid pandemic has affected the income of one and all.

The applications of several students for pensions are also lying for approval at the respective circle office for several months.


Talking to The Telegraph Online on Thursday, Akhlaque Ahmad, a speech therapist cum special educator at Jharia based government resource centre for the physically challenged persons said, “More than 20 students of our centres who were getting pension regularly are not receiving the same since the last four months.”

“Since majority of around 170 students enrolled at our centre belong to the below poverty line families, including the children of daily wage earners, the pension amount was a major source of income for them which helped them to survive the onslaught of the lockdown” said Ahmad.

Talking to The Telegraph Online today, Champa Devi, mother of a hearing impaired 14 year old girl, Rani Kumari, said, “Me and my husband Kailash Sao used to sell jhalmuri at a nearby school to eke out the living of five persons including our three children, Rani Kumari (14), Puja Kumari and a 19 year old son.”

“As the school has been closed since last year, we have lost our sole source of income and somehow depend on the pensions of Rani for procuring our daily needs to some extent but the discontinuation of pension has forced us toward the brink of starvation,” said Devi.

Nikhat Parveen, mother of another hearing impaired student of Resource center, said, “My husband used to earn little working a tailoring shop in Jharia and the pension provided through the social welfare department helped us a lot during the difficult times but this time the pension is also suspended for three months.”

Ranjit Kumar, speech therapist and special educator of Jeevan Jyoti School School, a school for physically and mentally challenged children operated by inner wheel club of Dhanbad said, “Several of our students are also deprived of disability pensions complicating the difficulties of their parents during the time of pandemic.”

Contacted, Anuj Bando, Additional Director, Social Security, said, “Though allotments are coming regularly from the government and pensions are also being disbursed but if there is any discontinuation in pension in some specific cases, we will look into it seriously.”

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