Mohamed Imranullah S.
|He might soon join TNSTC as a conductor|
His name was not in list of eligible candidates
He was suffering from a congenital disability
MADURAI: K. Sudalai, a physically challenged youth of Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli district, might soon join the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation as a bus conductor, thanks to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
The youngster suffering from a congenital disability on his leg was caught unawares in April 2008 when his name did not find place in the list of candidates eligible to apply for the post of bus conductor in Madurai Division of TNSTC.
He had completed Standard X in 1996 and possessed a conductor’s licence issued by the Regional Transport Authority.
The youth had also worked as a conductor temporarily with TNSTC during a festival season in 2006-07.
Wondering why he was dropped from the selection process despite necessary qualifications, Mr. Sudalai made representations to the Transport Secretary and Tirunelveli Collector on May 7, 2008. But there was no reply.
He submitted an application under the RTI Act. Replying to it, District Employment Officer said the General Manager, TNSTC (Madurai Division), had informed that physically challenged persons were not fit to be appointed as conductors.
The reply helped the youngster file a writ petition in the Madras High Court Bench here to consider his candidature as enunciated in Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
Justice K. Venkataraman pointed out that as per a notification published in the Union Gazette on March 15, 2007 bus conductor was one of the jobs that could be occupied by persons with orthopaedic disabilities.
He agreed with petitioner’s counsel G. Prabhu Rajadurai that there was no reason for the Madurai Division alone to reject physically challenged persons to the post of conductor when other Divisions were not doing so.
“When the petitioner could be appointed temporarily as conductor during festival seasons, while running special buses, it is not known why he cannot be appointed on permanent basis,” the Judge observed and directed TNSTC to consider the petitioner’s plea within four weeks.
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