Rights & entitlements of PWDs

Editor,

With due respect to the Government of Meghalaya, on behalf of Persons with Disabilities  (PWDs) for the state of Meghalaya, I would like to bring to your kind notice regarding the Chief Minister’s Social Assistance Scheme for PWDs which was started in 2014 at the rate of Rs. 500 per month. Initially, we appreciated the efforts taken by the Government at that time but with time I would say that it’s been difficult for us to meet our daily needs with this meagre amount. I am apprised that other states in India were provided assistance of Rs 2000/3000 or at the very least Rs 1500 per month on a regular basis.

My question to the Meghalaya Government and to the Chief Minister is whether they reckon that this Rs 500 would meet all the needs especially when the market prices have just shot up? Or does the Central Government not provide adequate funds for this particular Scheme? And why is this amount not paid to us regularly?

Coming to my next point, are we the PWDs entitled to the Unemployed Allowance Scheme only up to the age of 32 years as told to me by a staff of the Social Welfare Department? If so what will happen to PWDs after they cross 32 years of age? And I am sorry to say that we have not yet received the allowance of 2019/ 2020. Why are we being deprived of our right? Are we also not  members of the same society?

I urge the Government to seriously look into this matter for the welfare of all persons with disabilities.

Yours etc.,

Bertina Lyngdoh

Resident of Bethany Society

Shillong -3

Extend license validity

Editor,

Different departments of the Government of Meghalaya issue licenses for different business and other operations. Most of these licenses are valid for one year only. This creates a lot of problems for the licensee who has to renew the license annually. Why not increase the validity of licenses from one year to three years. This will not only reduce the workload of the government by two-thirds but will also help ease the pressure on the licensees.

Your etc.,

Ajay Gupta,

Via email

Parent’s dilemma

Editor,

As a parent of a student of Class 9 living in Laitkor, I am unsure whether to send my son to school on Monday when the school reopens. My son has always used the local transport facility up to Don Bosco junction. Now the local buses are not running regularly and the school does not have a school bus. I cannot afford to send him in a taxi every day. Besides, taxis do not allow social distancing and people are cooped up close to one another. That might also be the reason for the community spread of Covid. If my son does not attend school he will miss out on his classes. If he has to walk with a mask on for at least 10 kms he will become breathless. Has the Government considered all these factors when announcing that schools would reopen? It shows that not much thinking has gone into this subject of reopening of schools. The directive has come from Delhi where every school must compulsorily have a school bus. Other schools like Kendriya Vidyalaya, BK Bajoria, Police Public School are just a few of the schools in Shillong which have school buses. Others have always stood against the idea of school buses saying they have no parking space. The Government has also soft-pedaled on this issue. Now we parents have to pay a high price for this grave lapse on the part of those who run schools without considering the plight of parents.

Parents of students studying in the elite schools have their own vehicles but what about those students who depend on public transport? Can it be guaranteed that the child will not touch the bus railing while getting into the bus or while getting out? We parents are in great anxiety just thinking of what could happen to our children each day that they go to school and come back home. As it is Covid has made our lives so stressful and with schools reopening, our concerns are only multiplying. I wish the Government had taken the views of parents also when deciding to reopen schools at this juncture.

Yours etc.,

A Kharpran,

Shillong-10

Kudos Arunachal CM!

Editor,

Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu tweeted that he had tested Covid positive and asked all who had come in contact with him to get themselves tested. In fact, other ministers from the same state had also made their Covid statuses public. It’s only in Meghalaya where public representatives are so secretive about their Covid statuses. The Power Minister has not said a word about his Covid status other than what we learnt from the media. When will we ever see transparency in Meghalaya’s public life? It tells a lot about the character of our public representatives.

Yours etc.,

  1. Lyngdoh,

Via email

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