CHENNAI: The Commissionerate for the Welfare of Differently Abled has ordered all districts to reconstitute welfare boards for disabled people within a month, failing which the department will issue notices to the district heads.
Senior officials from the department said many boards do not have a committee as mandated by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act , 2016 , because of which grievances are not addressed. “But many are not following these norms. They haven’t formed committees due to which the boards are non-operational,” said a senior official from the department.
The official said Kanyakumari, Trichy, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Ramanathapuram, Nagapattinam, Tirunelveli districts did not have working committees. “Some do not even have members from disability groups,” the official said.
In 2007, the state had issued an order mandating every district to constitute a committee to head the welfare board for the disabled. The following year, the committee held its first district and state level meetings, and that was also the last.
Recently, the department decided to convene its second state level meeting on November 1. “Before that nothing was done, because there was no functional committee,” said K Shanmugavelayutham, convenor TN-Forces.
P Manoharan, member of the state disability welfare board, said with the district boards not functioning, people are forced to travel to Chennai to get pleas heard. “It is high time collectors take responsibility and reconstitute the boards. They cannot overlook plight of the disabled,” he said.