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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Physically challenged Wilfred Gomes contests GP election - UDUPI

Urging for the reservation for the physically challenged persons in India for election similar to the countries such as America and Briton, the President of the Udupi district unit of the Federation of Physically Handicapped Associations Wilfred Gomes has stood for the Grama Panchayath election this time.

44 years of age Wilfred Gomes has been the victim of polio at the age of 2 years. Being a graduate, he has built the association for the physically handicapped many years ago and he fights for their rights.

He is contesting the election independently from Pilar – 2 ward of Mudarangadi Grama Panchayath of Kaup Vidana Sabha constituency, without the support of any political party.

“The scheduled castes and tribes are given reservation because they are socially and financially exploited. Even the women are given reservation now in contesting the election. But the physically challenged are also exploited, so why they are not given reservation”, questions Gomes.

Since there is no reservation for the physically challenged persons, he is contesting as a general candidate and thus he is attempting to draw the attention of the government towards the plights of the 15,000 physically handicapped in the district and about 2 lakhs in the state.

“There is rule that 3% of the income in every Grama Panchayath has to be spent for the welfare of the physically challenged. But none of the Grama Panchayaths are implementing this. There are no schemes undertaken for the welfare of the handicapped. The same situation in Taluk Panchayath and Zilla Panchayath”, says Gomes.

If this has to change then there should be members in Panchayath who are compassionate towards the physically challenged. For this reason there should be reservation for the physically challenged and they should be elected, he said.

Running a travel agency Gomes is married and has two daughters. Hundreds of the physically handicapped have already expressed their support to him. They have also said that they will come to support him in the election campaign in coming week.

Gomes says that he feels confident of winning from this kind of support. If he wins, he wants to fight for the various facilities for the physically challenged such as house plots, pension, health insurance etc. He says, he may not be able to achieve anything much alone. But inspired from him many more take up the election challenge

Source: Udupi Today , 22nd May 2015 

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