Volume 3 Issue 15 - August 01, 2005

Order issued by Andhra Government to include person with Dwarfism as Orthopaedic Disability

D.N.I.S. News Network – A protracted battle by people with Dwarfism in Andhra Pradesh has finally yielded a positive result with the State Government agreeing to their demand and notifying them in the category of “orthopaedically handicapped” thus allowing them to seek benefits under The Disability Act 1995.

Picture of B. Mallesh raising demands of people with dwarfism in recent Andhra assembly bye-election

The victory came after months of drafting letters, memorandums and pitched campaigns. For an estimated 50,000 dwarfs this means that they can now claim reservations in government jobs, free travel passes in buses and trains and many other such benefits.

The dwarf people in Andhra Pradesh have been fighting for this recognition since the last two years. A Public Interest Litigation was filed by Twin Cities Dwarfs Association in the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the Court gave a favourable Order after the Disabled Welfare Commissioner agreed to confer disabled status on dwarf people. The Commissioner then submitted their representation to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, who then directed the Commissioner to take action in the matter. He in turn referred the matter to the Director of Medical Education, Hyderabad to furnish his remarks in this regard. The Director instructed the Superintendent, Osmania General Hospital to examine the issue and submit his report.

The medical report by the Superintendent says: “…a dwarf person can be included as handicapped or disabled because of loss of physical, intellectual and moral power as a result of short structure and abnormal (stunted) bone and joint growth. As a result…the ability of dwarfs to engage in gainful activity is considerably reduced. Hence dwarfs are eligible to be included in the category of orthopaedically handicapped.”

The Commissioner, Disabled Welfare, then requested the Government to issue necessary orders as per the guidelines prescribed for issuing disability certificate to dwarf persons by the Government of India and for inclusion of dwarf persons in the category of Orthopaedically handicapped (locomotor disability).

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