For most of us GST is a mixed bag of goodies. It has stuff we like and stuff we don’t. But it brings bad news for people who are physically challenged. Taxes of 5% and 18% have been approved on articles which these people with disabilities use. Though a lot of things which have been made expensive post the GST can be managed by the people, but this is a clear NO!
This isn’t the first time this is happening. Till last year 41% import duty was put on Braillers and devices used by blind people. It was then when Chandana Chandrashekar, a visually-impaired girl from Bengaluru, stood up against this grave injustice.
Who Is She?…
Chandana had a vision problem since birth, a genetic disorder named Retinitis Pigmentosa . It left her eye sight deteriorating till she became completely blind. She knew what kind of future she had, unless she worked hard to change it. It takes a special type of courage and guts for doing what Chandana did. Through sheer perseverance and hard work, she managed to learn Braille, complete her schooling, graduated for Mount Carmel College, taking up BCom and manged to get a job in a global professional service firm.
What shot her into limelight was the day that Rahul Gandhi visited her college in 2015. Before him, Chandana expressed the pain a 41-percent import duty on Braillers caused to the visually-impaired. Impressed by the girl’s determination about a very pertinent issue, Rahul Gandhi handed out his business card, and told her to email him all she has to say. Some time later in 2016, the import duties on the devices were abolished. Big victory for Chandana!
How Does GST Fit In?…
But with the GST, all that progress is back to square one. the whole point of abolishing the duties has been reversed. Census reveals about five percent of the population has a disability of some sort.This means that around 50-80 million people will be effected by this. These devices are not a luxury but an indispensable need for survival to this section of the country.
Vocally protesting against this rule, Chandana went all in slamming the move. As per her:
Differently-abled people usually come from weaker financial backgrounds and now a person willing to sponsor a device would also take a step back because of prices this high.
She goes on to state that, there should be zero percent tax on these goods, which are a necessity for a huge chunk of the society.
Tweeting to the Prime Minister, she has also started a petition against GST taxing disabled people. The petition is signed by 200 people as of now, but numbers are increasing.
We want at least 10,000 signatures. I hope the government takes notice and makes a change
Support Chaandana in this noble quest for justice. Share this article if you believe in what she is standing for, and sign her petition. Check out the petition and the price hikes by clicking here!