Monday, March 30, 2015

The thriving disability racket

Taken from The Hindu.
On March 4, a process to cleanse the system took its first toll. A village rehabilitation worker in Hassan was suspended after it was determined by a medical board that he had faked disability for a certificate.

The suspension is the first among the nearly 100 notices, based on complaints, sent by the Commissioner for Disabilities. The list includes taluk panchayat members, bus drivers, teachers, hospital workers, among other government officials.

In the case of the Hassan worker, the notice was first sent in October 30, 2014, to the official after a complainant alleged that he had received disability benefits with an invalid certificate. A court case followed, and eventually, the judge ordered a medical test to verify the disability. The ruse came undone, and suspension was ordered.

“There is a big racket in forging certificates, which would allow for employment under the disability quota. Doctors in small district hospitals are paid to issue disability certificates for even cut-off fingers or when one eye loses sight (losing an eye doesn’t count as disability as long as the other eye
is functional),” said K. Rajanna, Disability Commissioner.

Keeping this in mind, the officials were asked to undergo a medical test in Victoria Hospital, where it is assumed the results cannot be tampered with. However, the process is long, admit officials. Many didn’t show up even after repeated notices, while some have approached the court.

Officials involved in sending notices said a handful of Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation drivers have been accused of faking disabilities or mentioning obesity as a disability.

“They see this as an easy way to get out of driving or conductor posts, and to be posted in a desk job at the main office or depot,” said an official. Nearly 15 notices have been sent to workers in Kidwai cancer hospital. “The hospital had sought submission of documents for increasing conveyance allowance
for the disabled. I noticed a number of other employees – who do not have visible ailments – had also claimed to be disabled,” said the complainant who had approached the Commissioner.

Similarly, 15 complaints pertain to using fake disability certificates to obtain teaching positions in Chikkaballapur district.

Source: The Hindu.

No comments:

Post a Comment