GUWAHATI, Nov 26 - While both the Central and State governments quite often make tall claims regarding the development of differently-abled persons, the assurances made by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal vis-a-vis such people have remained unfulfilled even after eleven months.
The last meeting of the Chief Minister with organisations working for the rights and development of differently-abled persons of Assam was held on December 21, 2018. Representatives from the Pratibandhi Suraksha Sangstha, Assam; the All Assam Disabled Person Association; the Assam Deaf Association and the Dristihin Students� Union had taken part in that meeting.
According to the minutes of the meeting, after having heard the representatives from all the organisations, Sonowal had stated that the present government would continue to work for the interest and betterment of the differently-abled persons.
�He requested concerned authority to make the process for applying for the posts in special recruitment drive easier and disable-friendly. On the other hand, he stated that the social welfare department will release pension for the differently-abled persons as Rs 1,000 per month very soon,� the minutes of the meeting had stated.
At the same meeting, Sonowal announced that a rest house for differently-abled people would come up in the city soon along with an ITI at Dibrugarh.
Most importantly, as stated by the minutes, at that meeting Sonowal had directed that immediate action be taken by the department concerned on submission of vacancy report for posts reserved for differently-abled persons to carry out a special recruitment drive and to create a separate directorate for differently-abled persons under the social welfare department.
But, as alleged by the Pratibandhi Suraksha Sangstha, Assam (PSSA) most of the assurances made by Sonowal during the meeting did not get any positive push in the past eleven months.
Rather, every day various issues crop up among differently-abled persons of the State in getting a government job through the special recruitment drive.
The PSSA alleged that the Assam Police Recruitment Board entrusted by the State government to carry out the special recruitment drive, has issued some unreasonable eligibility criteria in recruitment against fourth grade posts in different State government departments.
Earlier, the eligibility criterion for these posts was only class eight pass. But recently the recruitment board published another notice which cited marks in computer training, work experience, experience of participation in sports events, etc.
Criticising the move, PSSA secretary Nripen Malakar today said that such steps taken by the Assam Police Recruitment Board would deprive genuine differently-abled persons of State government jobs.
The organisation demanded rectification in the notification by eliminating the criterion for marks in computer training and work experience. If the Board does not consider the demand, then from November 28 the organisation will launch a Statewide protest.