Today, i.e. 3rd December 2019, the world is celebrating World Disability Day. This event was started by United Nations in 1992 to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. Every year UN announces the theme on which the day celebrations take place and theme for this year is “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda“. The theme focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issues, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.This UN initiative has been widely accepted and events across the world are being conducted to celebrate the awareness campaign.
However, not all of us participate due to various reasons. Lack of time, lack of knowledge for sure and lack of willingness in some. But one main reason which is widely common is the negative assumptions about the disabled which actually leads to discrimination, violence, abuse, and neglect. As a result, even loving parents and family members raising children are sometimes reluctant to report that a child has a disability.
Having said that today lot many institutions are coming forward to support the cause for disabled. World Disability Day is one of the largest programs which is held worldwide. But more than that what needs to be changed is our assumptions or perceptions towards the disabled. We may not be part of these events but as a society, we can do a lot of contribution to ensure the disabled have the same rights as others.
Here is what we need to change and what we need to do to create a better future surrounding them:
Disability is not a problem. This we need to understand. Our discrimination leads to a family facing problems of isolation. They get marginalized due to which they run a fear of isolation. Children with disabilities are often regarded as inferior and this exposes them to increase vulnerability. Children excluded in this way are often deprived of the basic education, health, and social services to which they are entitled to. So discrimination on basis of disability should not be there in the society.
Don’t Consider Them A Charity
Lot of charitable work is done to ensure the disabled have a respectful future. But we should also realize that they are not simply the recipient of charity. They have equal rights wherein they have right to life and to the opportunities that flow from good health care, nutrition and education, the right to express their views and participate in making decisions and the right to enjoy equal protection under the law. It is this right which should be the center of our assistance to them.
Give Them Employment
A BPO in southern India was covered in leading newspapers for employing only the disabled and the company runs successfully. Rightly so. The employment to the disabled should happen in large numbers and when they approach your organization they should not be denied because they are disabled. Rejecting only for disability will not be a wiser choice and organizations should come forward to employ more disabled on the basis of their skills and who have the zeal to work with you and me.
This is much more than just assisting children with disabilities. Children living in poverty are most likely to be the least beneficiaries of attending any school or healthcare facilities. But poor children with disabilities are more unlikely to even enjoy the local clinic or school for their betterment. They do not need only a donation. But we should be kind enough to adopt them. There can be different means to do it- adopting legally, regular caring through organizations etc…
Promote Their Abilities
Many times a child with disability possess some special abilities which are their strength. This goes unnoticed when we focus only on the disability. The world is full of examples where disabled stood apart from the common crowd due to their special abilities. When you are taking care or see someone living around you, you should look at their special abilities so that their strength can come out.
Be a Proud Parent
Becoming a Parent is always a joyous moment and in no words, it can be described. But when a special child is born many parents do not even declare the disability. This is the result of the neglect of the society and the pressure of isolation. This should not happen. You should feel proud like any other day to be a parent of a beautiful child. The disability should be revealed so that you can work towards the strength of the child and provide enough assistance for their upbringing.
There are many NGOs now which work in the field of rehabilitation of disabled. The Indian government and RBI have also realized the need to address the concerns of the disabled. There have been many initiatives by the government for the disabled and RBI too has been issuing circulars to banks to make banking services disabled friendly. While you may not contribute directly here but by associating with NGOs you can work for the benefit of their upliftment. Both time and money of yours can be put together to ensure their concerns are taken care.
Disabled should not be looked at differently. It’s important that we accept them as one of us and assist them in meeting their challenges of life. The World Disability Day is a wonderful step in the direction of making you and me aware. Let us celebrate this day by removing all our negative assumptions and accept them as one of us. This will make our surroundings more beautiful.!!!
What perception do you hold when you see a special child around you? Do you love to interact with them?
Share your views in the comments section….
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