A student of a city based school has launched an online campaign seeking removal of GST levied on the equipment, including wheelchairs, crutches and hearing aides, used by divyang people. Eleven year old boy, Mehaan Doshi, a student of Class V of Hill Spring International School, started the petition on Change.org last week. Mehaan took up the initiative after he met Nipun Malhotra, who works for the rights of persons with disabilities. So far, the petition has been signed by over 11,500 people and Doshi intends to submit the final draft of petition to the GST Committee and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“For persons with disabilities, their equipments like wheelchairs, crutches, hearing aids etc. are important for their basic mobility and survival. Unfortunately, these equipments are taxed, and make basic-living expensive for these persons with disabilities,” the petition said. “Even today, most disability equipment, which includes assistive devices and rehabilitation aids for physically challenged persons, falls under the 5 per cent GST Rate. Which is why, I am asking the GST Council, Government of India, to drop the GST Tax amount on disability mobile devices from five per cent to zero per cent,” his petition said.
Mehaan said that after meeting Malhotra, he chose the subject ‘Disability Discrimination’ for a school project, so that he could highlight the ordeal faced by divyang people. Mehaan’s mother, Tanaz Doshi, an entrepreneur, said that he has taken pictures at various stations and other public places, where divyang people find it hard to move as these places are not disabled-friendly. “All the government agencies should make such place divyang-friendly on a priority basis,” she said.