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PwDs contemplate seeking justice from judiciary

Shillong, Dec 3: Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in Meghalaya would move court if the 4 per cent job reservation is not implemented immediately in the state.
This was announced on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities as they assembled for a sit-in demonstration at the parking lot near additional secretariat here on Tuesday.
The sit-in was organised by the Federation of Persons with Disabilities in protest against the state government for not fully implementing the 4 per cent job reservation in various government departments, the delay in enhancing the employment allowance for PwDs who have completed matriculation, and denial of various schemes and benefits like PMAY scheme for making houses, and availing loan under the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation through the Meghalaya Cooperative Apex Bank to take up self employment ventures.
“We will assemble again at this same venue on December 19 to make the government hear our grievances. If the government does not hear, we will discuss among us so that we can fight for our rights in the Meghalaya High Court,” the publicity secretary of the federation, Starwin Kharjana told reporters.
Kharjana said that a similar petition of the National Federation of the Blind in the Supreme Court has led to an order directing the Central government to complete the backlog recruitment for PwDs. “We are delighted and hoped that we will get justice,” he said.
“We have met social welfare minister, Kyrmen Shylla on September 23 this year who assured that something will be done for the welfare of PwDs including the job reservation and welfare schemes. After one month when we met him again, the replies did not satisfy us. The statement of the Minister dispirited us when he said that if we are not satisfied with his replies, we should go and ask from the directorate of social welfare. We want to know from the minister, whether the directorate is higher than the secretariat?” Kharjana said.
“The state government is using its own formula just to deny us this 4 per cent job reservation. Though a notification on four per cent job reservation was issued, but many departments did not recognize the PwDs when approached. This shows that the notification was issued only in paper but not implemented in reality,” he said.
Till date only 80 persons with disabilities have been employed in various government departments and there are a number of them who were rejected since the year 2010.
He also said that PWDs from all categories and not only the locomotor category should get employment.
On denial of loan to PwDs by some branches of the Apex Bank, Kharjana said, “There are some bank branches that harassed and denied loans to PwDs despite them having submitted all the required documents. When the government cannot provide jobs to us, it should provide us opportunities so that we can stand on our own feet and become self employed.”
Kharjana also said that PwDs are also entitled to benefit from the PMAY scheme through different blocks. “However in some blocks where we have submitted our applications, these applications disappeared like in Thadlaskeiñ block, Jirang block, Umsning block, Mawphlang block, Mairang block, and Pynursla block. The PMAY scheme meant for the PwDs was allotted to others,” he alleged.
The PwDs demanded that an unemployment allowance of Rs 1000, being given every month to PwDs who have completed matriculation should be increased and made at par with the payment being paid to muster roll workers working in different departments.