Their disabilities have made it difficult for them to gain new employment

Fired from their jobs persons with disability are now seeking the Courts helpImage: Gajapathy (Left) and Devaseelan (Right)
news Human Rights Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 19:04

Unable to find employment after their employers fired them abruptly a year ago, two people with disabilities in Chennai are now seeking legal intervention. 

Gajapathy, (47) and Devaseelan (40), had been working as lift operators at the Ampa Skywalk mall since 2012 and were being paid Rs 10,000 each.

Gajapathy had lost the use of his left hand and leg when he suffered a paralytic attack ten years ago.  Devaseelan, who was affected by polio as a child, is wheelchair bound.

The duo, has filed a petition in the Madras High Court against Ampa Skywalk mall on Thursday. 

“We just want our jobs back. We have a family to take care of. But we do not know how the case will turn out to be,” Devaseelan said.

Another person with disability also lost his job at the same time as Gajapathy and Devaseelan. 

“We were called by the management and were forced and threatened to write a letter stating that we are leaving the job due to family problems,” Gajapathy said.

They claim that they were told that they can work, but they will not be paid any salary by the company.

A petition was filed before the labour commissioner in May 2016. “It was a failure, because the management dodged it by saying that the workers voluntarily left the job. How can three of them leave on the same day and all have given the same letter with the reason as family problems?” Rajeni Ramadass, their advocate said. 

With the legal process taking time to resolve the issue, the loss of income and their failure to find new employment has hit their families hard. 

“Wherever we apply for a security job, they tell us that you cannot even run behind a robber, how will you do this job,” Gajapathy said.  

Gajapathy, who has two children, has started working as a domestic help for the past two months to support his family. His wife recently took a job to pitch in. 

Devaseelan’s wife works at an export company and is supporting the family with her income.

TNM reached out to the management several times, the response will be added when given.

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