Chennai, Jan 21 (IANS): Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in the disability sector have demanded that the Tamil Nadu government withdraw a circular issued by the Commissionerate for the Welfare of Person with Disabilities asking all persons with the NGOs in the sector to get a police verification report.
The circular, issued on January 13, states that all persons working with NGOs engaged in the welfare of persons with disabilities in the sections of education, protection, training, and rehabilitation should produce a police verification certificate stating that there were no cases against them.
The original police verification certificate should be submitted to the NGO they are working with and the copy handed over to the district disability welfare officer, the circular read.
The Confederation of Association for persons with mental disabilities has asked the state government to withdraw this circular.
In a statement, the organisation, which has 300 members, said: "We have been working with full financial support and total government recognition for the past 20 years. Some of our members have been serving the most marginalised of people for the past four decades."
The General Secretary of the organisation, M. Ravichandran, told IANS: "We demand stringent action against any employee of a special school who has indulged in unlawful activity. However, it is really painful to find that the entire community is being branded as criminal or people with suspicious track records. We are into service for the most vulnerable people of the society and the police verification certificate is not in the good interest of those who are serving and the government should withdraw such a circular as early as possible."
Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Differently Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC) also came out strongly against the circular.
In a statement issued on Friday, the organisation said: "The government can insist on NGOs to produce certificates but if each individual working as caregivers or special educators with such organisations are asked to produce individual certificates, it will make people believe that all employees are criminals."
The general secretary of TARATDAC, S. Namburajan said that most of the employees who are in this sector and working among the differently-abled people are working for a passion and for genuine love and have been rendering service at high odds.