'Teachers without disabilities misuse quota benefits'

'Teachers without disabilities misuse quota benefits'

As many as 18 teachers in Chintamani taluk, Chikkaballapur district, have been found to be misusing facilities provided under the disability quota.

Following an anonymous complaint about 45 teachers from the Education Department in Chintamani using facilities available under the quota, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, K V Rajanna, visited the department on Wednesday and evaluated the physical and medical examination certification of 42 of the 45 teachers.

Of the remaining three teachers, one was on transfer, one had died and the other absent.

Of the 42 teachers, 11 of them who had no signs of disability had managed to get jobs under the disability quota. Seven others had got employment under the general quota. 

It was found that after getting their jobs, these teachers had obtained medical certification from doctors saying they were disabled and are enjoying for the past 10 years facilities such as travel, income tax exemption among others, reserved for the disabled.

“We have decided to register both cases at the Commissioner’s Court and refer them to the Appellate Medical Authority for a second opinion,” Rajanna said at a press conference here on Friday.

During service

The commissioner said he also came across three teachers in the same taluk who had became disabled during their service. 

V Subramanya, a teacher who lost his eyesight, neither got his salary for three years nor an alternative job. Similar are the cases of Devaraju, who suffered a paralytical stroke a year and a half ago, and Amarnath, a victim of mental illness for the past one year.

“Interestingly, none of the officials from either the Education Department or their associates knew that if a person was disabled while he/she is on the job, he/she was entitled to salary and or an alternative job,” Rajanna said.

If so many cases have sprung up in a single taluk, there is a possibility of similar cases in the remaining 175 taluks across the State, Rajanna said. 

Medical certification

“Officers in the different departments at the state, district and taluk level should look into the medical certification of the disabled employees, and in case of doubt, they must get a second opinion from the Appellate Medical Authority,” he said.

State has fewer PH employees

The number of disabled employees working in the State is less compared with the neighbouring states, Rajanna said. “Approximately 7,000 to 8,000 disabled people are employed in the State. Whereas Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh among others have more than 30,000 persons with disabilities employed. The low number in Karnataka is disappointing.”

He said the Office of the State Commissioner for Disabilities will be shortly shifted to the Slum Development Board premises in  Seshadripuram.