Ihavandhoo youth prepare petition urging President to increase disability allowance

Vice President Faisal Naseem visits a child with special needs. (File Photo/President's Office)

Three young men with special needs from HA. Ihavandhoo have initiated a petition urging President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to increase the disability allowance paid by the state. 

The petition is set to be presented to the President during his visit to Ihavandhoo to mark International Day of Disabled Persons in December. 

People with special needs are currently entitled to a monthly allowance of MVR 2,000. 

The petition urges the government to increase the allowance to at least MVR 5,000. 

One of the young men involved in preparing the petition told Sun that the MVR 2,000 monthly allowance is simply too low to purchase the costly items they need. He said that they have been pushing for an increase in the allowance for 10 years. 

“We aren't doing this as an organization this time, but as individuals. We are circulating a Google form via social media,” he said. 

A bill to amend the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Provision of Financial Assistance Act in order to increase the disability allowance to an amount within the range of MVR 5,000-7,000 was submitted to the Parliament in 2019. But the bill failed to garner support, and was rejected. 

An increase in the disability allowance has also been urged by the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM), which, in a statement last year, said that the current allowance was not sufficient in covering basic needs.