No special lines for us at ATMs: Specially-abled

Expressing their anguish, scores of disabled people aired their grievances and alleged that they have no access to the bank.

New Delhi: “I have only Rs 10 in my purse. It has become difficult for me to carry out my daily chores as I have no money in hand. What am I supposed to do when people are not forthcoming in lending a helping hand to a disabled person like me to withdraw cash,” said Suwarna, who is specially-abled. While a common man is baffled by the unease caused post demonetisation and people meeting a dead end with no cash available, the situation is worse for specially- abled people who allege that all the claims made by the government in regard to the facilities being provided for disabled people has fallen flat on the face.

Suwarna, an NGO worker, further charged that “As the government promised that there will be separate lines for disabled people at banks or ATMs to withdraw money, nothing such has been materialised. Forget about the separate lines, when I queued-up in a regular line, I had to be seated on my wheel-chair for 2 hours. And when my turn came, the wheel-chair couldn’t be taken on the flight of stairs ahead,” she added.

Expressing their anguish, scores of disabled people aired their grievances and alleged that they have no access to the bank. No arrangements have been made for them. They have been asked to join the regular lines, allegedly being humiliated at the hands of police. Majority of them having no option left have to compromise on their ATM pins and ask someone else to withdraw money for them else they only have to wait for hours before they could withdraw Rs. 2,000 that they claim is not even sufficient for a day.

Javed Abidi convener, Disabled Right Group expressed his discontentment over the government’s cold shoulder towards the disabled people and said, “When we try and make our queues, the bank authorities tell us that join the regular queue as there is no separate line or quota for the disabled people. We have absolutely no accessibility to the ATMs.”

For Rajat (name changed), another disabled person it was a humiliating experience to get into the line of a nationalised bank to withdraw money, recently. Rajat who uses crèche and has polio had to undergo an ordeal to withdraw the money when a policeman deputed on duty not only misbehaved with him but also demanded him to produce his certificate that read that he has disability. “Thanks to demonetisation that now a disabled person, who can’t take steps properly now has to prove that he is disabled and can’t walk. The government’s promise to provide relief to disabled people in wake of money withdrawl was just a false promise. It didn’t yield any result rather brought shame to us,” rued Rajat.

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