Alleging discrimination in MGNREGS jobs, differently-abled stage protest

According to the norms of the scheme, those with disability should be made to work only four hours per day. “But the panchayat leaders make us work for more than eight hours,” said P Jeeva, a disabled person, who participated in the protest at Saidapet.
The protest taken out in Chennai city on Tuesday
The protest taken out in Chennai city on Tuesday

CHENNAI: More than 1,000 members of Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC) staged protests in front of the Directorate of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj on Tuesday, alleging that they were being made to work for more hours than what was stipulated under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Scheme.

According to the norms of the scheme, those with disability should be made to work only four hours per day. “But the panchayat leaders make us work for more than eight hours,” said P Jeeva, a disabled person, who participated in the protest at Saidapet.

Also, the Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) must be in charge of the disabled persons. “But the panchayat leaders take control and they even discriminate us,” he alleged. The protesters said though they work from 6 am to 3 pm, they were being paid less – many were not even being paid, they added.

Jansi Rani, president of the association, said the officials were yet to provide job cards for disabled people under special categories or fulfil the promise to employ most of them under the scheme. “Until the officials fulfil our demand, the protest will continue across the city. Also, the government should act against the officials who discriminate differently abled workers,” she added.

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