JAMMU/SRINAGAR, Dec 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities was celebrated today as Black Day in Jammu as well as Srinagar by the specially abled persons, who staged protest against Social Welfare Department for not considering their genuine demands despite giving assurances.
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Scores of specially abled persons assembled under the banner of Jammu and Kashmir Handicapped Association (JKHA) and J&K Handicapped Welfare Association (JKHWA) outside Press Club Jammu, demanding an increase in their monthly pension from Rs 1000 to Rs 5000, conducting special recruitment drive for them, vertical reservation for persons with disabilities rather than horizontal in all Government jobs, providing low interest loans to them, etc.
JKHWA president Ajay Kumar Sharma put forth demands including implementation of Disabilities Act 2016 and appointment of Disability Commission of Persons with Disabilities. Other demands highlighted by him include setting up rehabilitation centres in each district headquarters of CRC loans, similar facilities as given to SC and ST, 50 percent concession in the electricity fee charges, free medical aid and establishment of handicapped advisory boards in the UT.
In Srinagar also, some physically challenged persons under the banner of JKHA staged protest at Press enclave and reiterated their demands. They raised slogans in support of their demands. The protesting people appealed the concerned authorities to redress their genuine demands without any further delay. They said if their demands are not redressed, they will protest at Jantar Mantar on the eve of Republic Day.
President of JKHA Abdul Rashid Butt said: “Every day, new laws are being made for the physically challenged people all over the world and major work is done for their welfare but in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, the opposite is happening. Over the past few years, the Government has failed to implement any welfare measures on the ground level.”
He said that in February, the Association also held a hunger strike in Jammu and the Social Welfare Department had assured that their genuine demands will be fulfilled, “but so far nothing happened,” he said.