Goa min invites ire for irregularities in Disability Award

Panaji, Jan 14 (PTI) An NGO working for disabled peoplein Goa has lodged a police complaint against State SocialWelfare minister Ramakrishna Dhavalikar for giving away theState Disability Award to a candidate, who allegedly does notfulfil the required criterion.

The Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG) in itscomplaint to Panaji police has said that the award wasfraudulently given to one Harsha Joshi, who did not fit forthe disability criteria.

The minister, however, has ruled out any irregularity indeclaring the award.

GRAG official Avelino D''Sa said that persons fallingunder Disability Act have been defined as one who has 40 percent or more disability.

He said that the terms and conditions of the scheme forthe State award, says that the award is to be given to adisabled employee as defined under the Disability Act 1995 foroutstanding achievement during the last three years.

The association has termed the entire episode as fraud asthe person who won the award is just 36 per cent disable andshe has not done anything outstanding to earn this laurel.

The award carries a citation and cash of Rs 25,000. D�Sasaid the screening committee for the award last year washeaded by Dhavalikar.

"The award was given to Joshi only because she is closeto the minister," the complaint said.

When contacted Dhavalikar ruled out that there were anyirregularities in selecting the candidate for award.

"We have gone by the rule book. There is no favouritism,"he said.

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