Otherwise-abled battle as Aasara pension scheme proves ineffective

Hyderabad: The Aasara pension fund, which is supposed to help the disabled community among other things, has brought almost no results. In this regard, the Telangana Disabled Welfare Society (TDWS) held a protest on Tuesday in hopes of receiving the support needed to improve the situation.

In view of the state government’s reaction to date, however, it seems unlikely that the situation will improve. The protesters noted that the government had not disbursed funds under the Aasara program for the past three years, making the disabled community, which is said to be receiving rupees 3,016, struggling to achieve its basic goals.

Syed Afroz, President of TDWS, has visited the Hyderabad District Collectors Office and met with various Mandal officials to address the concerns of the community, but to no avail. He informed Siasat.com that every time he brings up the issue, he is told that although the applications have been processed by local officials until the state budget is ready, the money will not be paid out. Afroz added that none of the officials had explained how the state, if anything, plans to help disabled people in Telangana.

Aside from granting the pension money they deserve, the protesters called on the Telangana State government to implement the 5% disability waiver in the labor market, grant them homes under the double bedroom scheme, and ensure that all disabled people receive a free underground Rail pass to easily explore the city.

Faiyaz Khan (40) has lived with a disability since childhood. Khan was given an injection to treat chickenpox when he was four years old. However, shortly after the injection, his limbs were paralyzed and he has not been able to walk since then. “Abhi bhaiyon ke saahr hi hoon” (I am living now because of the help my brothers offer.) He noted.

A similar story plays out in Qamar Jahan’s life. Paralyzed in all limbs, Qamar (44) can only survive thanks to her daughter, who takes care of her needs. Qamar informs Siasat.com that she has never received any formal training and has therefore given up her gainful employment. “It would be a big help if the pension came through because I have to pay the rent and I also can’t afford my medication right now,” she added.

“The white grocery card, which is supposed to help the groups with access to 36 kilograms of rice, is not paid out either,” added Afroz. When asked about the COVID-19 vaccination rate among the lakhs of people with disabilities living in Telangana, Afroz noted that despite efforts, many of them died because they did not have access to the vaccine.

Afroz ‘claims, barely any disabled people residing in Telangana have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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