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Edu, Social Welfare officers make specially-abled wait nearly 2 hours for them at function

Srinagar, Dec 3: Director School Education Kashmir, G N Itoo, and Secretary Social Welfare Department, Farooq Ahmad Lone, made the specially-abled participants wait for nearly two hours over an hour in cold weather for their arrival at a function organised on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday.

Scores of the specially-abled children gathered at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School Kothibagh here to perform before the audience at the function organised by the Humanity Welfare Organisation.

However, the children, as well as the audience, had to wait till Itoo and Lone arrived at 12:45 pm. The function was supposed to start at 11:00 am.

The participants, mostly between 11 to 25 years of age, were not even served refreshment. And the valley was shivering in temperature below 10 degrees Celsius.

“We all haven’t had anything yet. We were asked that the event will culminate before 2pm,” said a boy, who had to perform in the event.

Speaking to media later on the sidelines of the event, the Secretary Social Welfare Department said, “The government was committed to work for the welfare of disabled persons.”

“Hassle free education and basic needs would be provided to them. The government is working on ensuring special quota to them,” he said.

Judging from the protests held subsequently by the specially-abled persons, they are not happy with what the government claims to be doing for them.

At Press Enclave here, several of them gathered to stage a protest.

Raising slogans, they said the successive regimes have failed to address their issues.

They said they have been living a “miserable life”.

“Women and children should be specifically included in the Disability Act 2018. A special provision should be incorporated to deal with abuse, violence and exploitation,” said one of them.

The State Administrative Council (SAC) recently passed the Act in a meeting held under Governor, Satya Pal Malik.

“It is good, government passed the Act. The government should implement the Act at an earliest,” said president Abdul Rashid, Jammu and Kashmir Handicapped Association.

Rashid demanded enhancement in the financial assistance being provided by the government.

“At present, Rs 1,000 is being paid to us. The government should fix Rs 1,000 for the persons having disability from 40%-60%, Rs 2,000 for those having Disability from 60%-80% and Rs 3,000 for those having 80%-90% disability,” he said.

The duff and mute also held a protest here.

They said the government should make serious efforts for their welfare.

“The state government should provide reservation in jobs. We also have the right to live with honour and dignity in the society,” said Imran Ahmad.

They said their repeated pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

“Among us, many have done courses in different trades. The government should absorb us in its departments,” said Sajad Ahmad.

Meanwhile, Composite Research Centre (CRC), Bemina, organised a function in the campus.

The function saw gathering including the students who have been pursuing certain courses pertaining to disabilities.

Director CRC said the centre has been providing “every possible help” to the specially-abled persons.

“They need to be treated equally,” he said.