Saturday, May 23, 2020

Create separate fund to aid disabled persons: Telangana High Court

Hyderabad, 23 May 2020

The High Court Division bench heard a plea filed by Ganesh Karnati seeking a direction to the State government to alleviate the problems faced by the physically disabled during this lockdown period. 

It further sought a direction to the Telangana Police to issue passes to the caretakers of the disabled, specially challenged persons so as to enable them to get groceries, medicines and other help.

Expressing utter dismay and surprise over the insufficient allocation of Rs. 10,000 to each District Welfare Officer to enable him to take care of the physically disabled and physically challenged persons, the Division Bench asked the Advocate General, B.S. Prasad, the rationale behind such meagre allocation. 

For 40,000 Advocates, the State government has created a corpus of Rs. 25 crore, whereas for a population of more than 7,81,317 lakh physically disabled persons, an allocation of Rs one crore is a pittance and the State has literally let these poor, needy and the weakest section of the society to survive at the mercy of the donors, opined the bench. 

It is a sorry state of affairs, where the state is totally ignoring these physically disabled persons, their rights and interest cannot be ignored by the State Government, that too during the pandemic Covid-19 period.

About 21,565 physically disabled persons live in Warangal and 26,717 persons with disabilities  live in Warangal rural and going by the scanty allocation of Rs. 10,000 to each district, how do you think the concerned Welfare officer will provide them with essential commodities when most essential commodities prices have spiralled in the last couple of days, where dal is sold at Rs. 200 per kg and tamarind at Rs. 180 per kg.

Therefore, the State has to rush to their rescue by allocating sufficient funds for them immediately. They have the Right To Life enshrined in the Constitution and the State has to protect them in its capacity. "Ask the Government to immediately release more money to these persons with disabilities", the Bench added. 

Further, Chief Justice Chauhan asked Advocate General B.S.Prasad to find out the whereabouts of the letter addressed by the Director, Department of Disabled Welfare and Senior citizens to the Special Chief Secretary, Telangana Govt., requesting for creation of a separate fund with the department of disabled welfare and senior citizens so that such fund can be spent to extend various facilities to the disabled during this lockdown. 

It seems the Govt., has not given any response to such a letter, observed Chief Justice Chauhan.  Advocate General B.S. Prasad while putting a firm stand on behalf of the Government informed the Bench that the allocation of Rs. One crore is to ameliorate the distress conditions of the physically disabled persons in the State during this extreme period and is a specially allocated fund by the TS govt. 

Apart from this, the State Government is providing 12 Kg rice, Rs.1500 per family to 87.50 lakh white ration cardholders. Any complaint on non-receipt of ration or money, they can approach concerned District Welfare officers, who will attend to their needs, AG said. The matter was been adjourned to May 29.