As in the last week’s meeting, the public grievance redress meeting held on Monday also saw a huge crowd of petitioners at Madurai Collectorate. This is the second meeting where physical presence of petitioners was allowed ever since COVID-19-induced lockdown came into effect.
District Revenue Officer G. Senthilkumari presided over the meeting and received petitions from the public. There were many differently abled petitioners, mostly seeking jobs or some form of employment for sustenance. A group of 17 differently abled villagers from Ayyankotttai Pudur near Vadipatti submitted a petition, saying they were left out of the 100-day job scheme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
According to K. Nagabaskar, a functionary of a differently abled people’s association, differently abled people are paid a daily wage of ₹274, while it is ₹ 175 for others. Their job includes looking after the children of the workers on the field, fetching water to the workers, etc. “After a petition was submitted to this effect at a meeting last month, differently abled people were drafted for work for only three weeks. Now, they are again languishing without a job,” he said. They were promised that their grievance would be redressed in a few days, he said.
Another differently abled man, J. Selvaganesan, 43, from Mullai Nagar in BB Kulam, sought assistance to set up an Aavin milk booth. After he met with an accident, his right leg had to be totally amputated. A well-built man, he had been working as a driver and now moves slowly with a walker.
The day also saw yet another differently abled man, Chithiravel, 55, of Azhagankulam near Pudhu Tamaraipatti receiving a tricycle from the DRO. District Differently Abled Officer R. Ravichandran said this beneficiary was left out when many others received the aid costing ₹7,500 last week. It was sanctioned from the funds allotted to the district, he said.
Among the huge number of petitioners, quite a few sought free house or patta. They were asked to utilise the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), a subsidy scheme.
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