Kerala govt goes back on move to cut scholarship for differently abled

Differently-abled children. File photo/Onmanorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has reversed its earlier decision to cut down the scholarship for differently abled students, including those afflicted with autism, cerebral palsy, and multiple disabilities. 

Kerala government had earlier decided to scrap the Rs 12,000 travel allowance (TA) for the children as the schools remained shut amid the pandemic. However, this decision has been cancelled now.

The local self-government department has issued an order, stating that the full scholarship amount should be given to the differently abled students.

The state-level coordination committee for decentralised planning had decided in November to cut down the travel allowance from the annual scholarship of Rs 28,500, which is disbursed via the local bodies.

However, a Manorama news report pointed out that the decision was taken without considering aspects such as the parents would be unable to work during the Covid health emergency as they would be at home to take care of the children. Moreover, there would be expenses for online learning as classes commenced online as schools remained shut. 

Subsequently, Ministers A C Moideen, K K Shailaja, and K T Jaleel intervened in the matter. Outfits such as Parivar Kerala and PAID, associations of parents of differently abled children, also submitted a memorandum to the government, seeking the full amount.

As per the directives of Minister A C Moideen, the local self-government department issued an order on December 24, stating that the travel allowance would be given as and when the schools reopen. After the minister intervened in the issue again, the new order was issued.

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