Physically challenged people mark Red Cross Day with protests in Anantnag

SHABIR AHMAD
Anantnag: Outraged over the “discriminatory attitude” of the district administration towards them, scores of physically challenged people on Thursday staged protests to mark the World Red Cross Day in this south Kashmir district.
Different organizations working for the welfare of physically challenged people had organized a program at Dakbanglow, Khanabal. They had invited various district level officers including the Deputy Commissioner Anantnag to the program. However, after the officers from district administration failed to turn up at the venue, the physically challenged people got infuriated and took out a protest rally.
Raising slogans against the district administration and in support of their demands, the physically challenged people, some of them on wheel chairs, blocked the road outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office, disrupting traffic in busy Lal Chowk area for nearly an hour.
The protesters did not allow any official vehicle either to enter the DC Office premises or move out from there. They were demanding the DC or any other top official to meet them. Later, police arrived at the spot and tried to pacify the protesters but to no avail.
Abdul Rashid Lone, president J and K Handicapped Association, who was leading the protest rally, said the district administration by turning down their invitation to the program “showed that they are least concerned about the plight of the physically challenged people.”
Later, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat called the representatives of the protesters to his office after which they dispersed off.
Chairman, Humanity Welfare Organization, Javed Ahmad Tak said, “We had invited the officers to share our plight with them, but ironically they did not turn up. Now they have made it clear that they treat disabled people a useless lot.”
Had there been any other function where they would been served wazwan, Tak said, “all of them would have reached the venue early along with their clerical staff.”

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