Volume 3 Issue 18 - September 15, 2005

Kerala’s people with dwarfism demand benefits and reservation under Disability Act

D.N.I.S. News Network - Drawing inspiration from the success of their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, people with dwarfism in Kerala have formed an association to demand inclusion in the category of orthopaedically handicapped thus allowing them to seek benefits under The Disability Act 1995.

In late August, about 100 people got together to form the Small Men Association to fight against discrimination. Balakrishnan Karassery, Vice President of the Association, told media that: We would ask the State Government to list dwarf people as orthopaedically handicapped thereby entitling them to reservations in job; free bus rides and other facilities.

Speaking about discrimination against people with dwarfism, Karassery said: We are a neglected lot and are discriminatedwe are treated like kids everywhere. We are big enough to say what we want. We are going to fight for our rights.

In Andhra Pradesh, a protracted battle had yielded positive result with the High Courts intervention and the State Government finally agreeing to the demand by people with dwarfism and notified them in the category of orthopaedically handicapped. The victory came after months of drafting letters, memorandums, pitched campaigns and a Public Interest Litigation. The decision is expected to benefit an estimated 50,000 dwarfs allowing them to claim reservations in government jobs, free travel passes in buses and trains and many other such benefits.

The Small Men Association has a similar uphill task ahead of them. However, they have a precedent, to support their case.

Logo of Disability News and Information Service (DNIS)

N.C.P.E.D.P. Logo (External Website) DNIS is produced and managed by:
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People

Screening Guidelines to be followed by CISF Security Staff for Passengers with Disabilities at Indian Airports

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill

Mental Health Care Bill

CRPD Monitoring Report

National Policy

20 Stories of Change(book)

Press Release




Additional Links

Disability News and Information Service is produced and managed by:

N.C.P.E.D.P. Logo
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (External Website)

C-43, South Extension, Part - II,
New Delhi 110 049, India
Tel: 91-11-26265647, 26265648
Fax: 91-11-26265649
Website: (External Website)