GUWAHATI: The SDG Disability Tracker II, Research Study was officially released on Wednesday in Guwahati, Assam at a brief program at Shishu Sarothi in the presence of Kumar Sanjay Krishna, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam, Shri Kausar Jamil Hilaly, ACS, Commissioner, Disabilities, Government of Assam, Praveen Kumar, Global Lead Advisor Social Inclusion, VSO , Sachal Aneja , Asia-Pacific Corporate Engagement Manager, VSO and other stakeholders.
According to a press release, this Research Study carried out by Shishu Sarothi in partnership with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), tracked 3 specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Voices of 201 Persons with Disabilities were captured from two districts of BTAD, Chirang, and Kokrajhar for the study. The study reveals multiple layers of marginalization and exclusion faced by women and men with disabilities on account of their disability, their gender and their ethnicities and their invisibilization during the conflict and humanitarian emergency related internal displacements.
SDGs 5, 6 and 8 aim to ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’, ‘ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ and ‘promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’.
Findings of the research highlight the lack of accessibility to basic rights, particularly for girls/women with disabilities. This was seen from aspects of accessing education, enrollment in schools, facing discrimination and abuse both within the family and outside, neglect and social exclusion and violence in nuanced forms. Statistical analysis in the study reveals that women’s accessibility to rights and entitlements is always outnumbered by that of men.
Clean water and sanitation study highlight that more than half of PwDs who participated in the study do not have an accessible toilet (in their school, house and community). There continue to be gross lack/inaccessibility of drinking water facilities for PwDs, both government constructed (as per schemes under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) for households and communities) as well as those in schools.
Decent work and economic growth research highlight that only about 2% of the total respondents have permanent employment and none of them have been employed as per the statutory reservations for persons with disabilities, in vacancies for jobs in Government. The workplace of the respondents working on permanent and temporary/ contract positions are not fully accessible as only a few of the places reportedly have ramps. The potential for contribution towards economic growth from persons with disabilities has not sufficiently been tapped into.
Through this collaborative effort, the aim is to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in tracking the progress towards SDGs and initiate discourse at a larger level. This study will also give a way forward for policy interventions and advocacy.
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