Depriving the disabled

Depriving the disabled

The income ceiling to get pension for physically, mentally challenged is illogical

‘Not paying heed’ attitude of the government has left a weaker section of our society in troubled waters from quite a long time.

The issue of increasing the income ceiling of physically and mentally challenged families to avail the benefit of monthly pension has been talked about many a times, but no amendments have been made by the government so far.

As per the government order issued in the year 1987-88, the physically and mentally challenged are allowed to avail the benefit of Rs 1,000 (in case of more than 75 per cent disability) and Rs 400 (in case of disability ranging from 40 per cent to 75 per cent) every month, only if the families annual income is below Rs 6,000.

Now the question is how logical is it on the part of the government to expect all the disabled to fall under below Rs 6,000 income group?

With the price hike and changed income level, it is rather impossible to find a family living a life with a meager income of Rs 6,000 per year.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Parivarthana Seva Trust (Puttur) Managing Director Akshay Alva, who has been fighting since three years in favour of the suffering lot, said several pleas put forth in front of the  departments concerned and the ministry urging them to bring amendment in the policy have gone in vain.

“I have confronted so many Ministers and officers who exhibit concern and sympathy towards the physically and mentally challenged. So many announcements and promises made in this regard have not been realised so far. We urge the government to amend the policy by either removing the income ceiling level or raising it to Rs 60,000 in the coming budget,” Akshay Alva recommended.

Miserable plight

Elucidating some of the incidents, Alva said, few officers and Taluk Tahsildars are playing hide and seek with the disabled who seek pension. “There are many officers who ask the physically and mentally challenged to submit several documents, torment them and finally end up in saying “we can’t grant the pension as your income does not match the policy regulations.” Through Parivarthana Seva Trust, we have provided disability card to nearly 22,000 people in Dakshina Kannada district out of which only 40 per cent of them are receiving the pension. They too are availing the pension benefit merely on human grounds and not on the basis of income ceiling,” he said.

Alva requested the government to bring amendment in the policy at least in the forthcoming budget.

50 pc of disabled don’t get pension

The number of physically and mentally challenged in our State is 9,40,143 as per 2001 census. The number has reached 12,00,000 now. As per the document available with the Women and Child Development Department, the pension is given to 5,70,000 people.