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Saturday, Dec 04, 2004

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Allowance for physically challenged hiked to Rs. 500 a month

By Our Staff Reporter



The Lt. Governor, M.M. Lakhera (extreme right), hands over an artificial limb to a physically challenged child at the International Day of the Disabled in Pondicherry on Friday. The Chief Minister, N. Rangasamy looks on. — Photo : T. Singravelou

PONDICHERRY, DEC. 3. The Pondicherry Chief Minister, N. Rangasamy, has announced that those suffering physical disability in the range of 40 to 75 per cent would get an increased assistance of Rs. 500 a month against the Rs. 425 now available to them.

This would benefit 6,217 persons in the Union Territory.

Addressing the celebrations of the "International Day of the Disabled" organised by Department of Social Welfare here today, the Chief Minister said that if a person was totally disabled and remained bedridden, he would be paid for the first time a monthly assistance of Rs. 1,000.

Mr. Rangasamy, who announced a package of benefits amid applause and cheers from the large number of disabled, visually impaired and other challenged persons, also said that for the first time a monthly assistance of Rs. 750 would be given to each disabled person if the percentage of disability ranged between 75 percent and 100 percent. The government would waive the interest and penal interest due from the disabled persons who had borrowed money for self-employment projects.

Welfare board

A Welfare Board or Corporation would be set up soon to address the grievances of the disabled persons, he said.

The accident insurance scheme now covering disabled people in the age group of 45 to 74 years would be modified to reduce the minimum age for eligibility for the scheme to five years.

The cash award given to a couple (one of whom is disabled) entering into wedlock would also be raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs 20,000 .

The Lt. Governor, M.M. Lakhera, distributed cash prizes and State awards to the handicapped persons who had distinguished themselves in various sectors and also to students proficient in various events.

The Welfare Minister, M. Chandirakasu, the Speaker, M.D.R. Ramachandran, the Leaders of the Opposition in the Assembly, R.V. Janakiraman, and A. Anbalagan, MLA, also spoke.

Representatives of associations and federation of the Physically Handicapped people sought settlement of their various long-pending demands.

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