From letting women enter barred temples to delegalizing conversion therapy for LGBTQ people, India is taking small steps to better its inclusivity aspect. Such small yet significant steps are crucial for persons with disabilities (IDPD).
December 3rd is celebrated as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). It is a principal chance to talk about the rights and well-being of this community. Read on to perceive the various issues revolving persons with disabilities.
The History of IDPD
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is a day of observance, marked annually. On this day, organizations, individuals and government work for increasing awareness about the challenges that the disabled community faces daily. This day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1992.
The day is also aimed at eradicating discrimination on cultural, social, professional and political fronts experienced by this community. The general agenda of this day is to highlight to the world how disabled people can be an active part of society. For disabled persons, on the other hand, the day is an opportunity to debate their challenges and voice their opinion.
- Nearly 650 million (15%) of the world population is living with a disability.
- India is home to about 75 million people with disabilities.
- There are approximately 2.9 million children with disabilities in India. Out of this number, 34% do not go to school.
- 20% of the world’s poor population is disabled.
- Only 5-15% of people in low or middle – income countries have access to assisted devices and/or technology.
There are numerous hardships faced by people with special needs. In Indian society, the following two are major issues that disabled fellows confront on a day-to-day basis:
The stereotypical beliefs that persons with disabilities are less is the core of discrimination. People living with disabilities are only different. They require extended clinical and technological assistance to function. Non-disabled people judge them based on their medical condition. Such forms of prejudice can be seen in how disabled individuals are treated in public spheres. Not only does it make them feel excluded, but such differentiation also brings down their self-esteem.
Technology has been a boon for the world. It has modified how we approach assets and discussions in all foregrounds. People living with disabilities require the assistance of certain devices. Wheelchairs, low vision aids and cochlear devices are some examples. Disabled people require particular tools to make sense of the world around them and participate actively. It is similar to how some people require glasses for reading. The theme of IPDP 2019 is “The Future is Accessible”. However, poverty and lack of access to adequate healthcare limit the empowerment of this community largely.
Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016
Indian lawmakers realized the importance of the challenges mentioned above. In 2016, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act was brought. The Act complies with the obligations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) since India is a signatory.
This Act redefines disability and extended the types of disabilities from 7 to 21. The Act guarantees equal rights to all, reservations in educational institutions, government jobs, allocation of land, among other things. It also provides free education to disabled children from the age groups of 6 to 18 years. Additionally, it makes mandatory for societies to create structures that are friendly to people with special needs.
The government has also been running the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan). The national flagship campaign is aimed at promoting universal access to the disabled. The physical environment, transportation, information and communication systems of India are to be made favourable.
Many more steps are being taken to remove the burdens posed to disabled people in India.
Also, read about Things You Need to Be Aware of While Dealing With Disabled People
Disability does not need to be a feature of people. There is a long way to go when it comes to shattering stigmas in this area. But with awareness about the above-given challenges, we can encourage support and compassion towards this section of the society.
People with disabilities are the world’s largest minority. Besides dignity, they have the right to access devices and technology for their upliftment. It is essential, thus, that everyone (disabled or non-disabled) are aware of their rights.
By discussing these issues of concern, we can improve the general view and mobilize political will towards the improvement of persons with disabilities.
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