D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Of late, the welfare of disabled people seems to be the primary resolve of M. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He has initiated a special recruitment drive for persons with disabilities and has announced a string of measures to benefit disabled persons.
For starters, all jobs reserved for persons with disability will be filled up; the scheme of unemployment allowance, now implemented only for visually impaired people will be extended to cover all categories of disability; and monthly pension of Rs. 400 that is being given only to physically and visually disabled persons will now also cover speech and hearing impaired persons.
The marriage assistance scheme for disabled people is currently benefiting 400 persons. An additional 1,100 are expected to be covered under the Chief Ministerís plan. 600 disabled people in the governmentís list who have been waiting for motor-fitted three wheelers will be given the vehicles this year.
Many more announcements are to be made in the Budget to be presented shortly. Karunanidhi said that his government is ready to set apart not just Rs. 100 crore but even Rs. 1000 crore for disabled people. He repeated that his government would always pay attention to the issues and problems concerning disability.
To ensure that the government schemes are implemented effectively, G. Chidambaranathan, president of Federation of Tamil Nadu Physically Handicapped Association said that the Social Welfare Department should be provided more manpower.