GUWAHATI: Shishu Sarothi observed the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the 3rd of December 2021 across different parts of the region and in collaboration with various Government and Non Government organisations.
The program started on the 2nd of December with an Inclusive Sports event which was held with Samagra Shiksha Abhijan, Assam at Lutuma Prathamik Vidyalaya alongside various inclusive sports activities.
On the 3rd of December the prize distribution of the Inclusive Sports was held at Shishu Sarothi along with other cultural programs.
A sensitization and awareness program was organised in association with Radio Mirchi, Guwahati, where the alumni of Shishu Sarothi and students from Samagra Shiksha Abhijan spoke about the theme and issues faced by persons with disabilities in their daily lives.
10 students with disabilities from the Indus Towers Scholarship Program were awarded Scholarships at a ceremony organized by Women and Child Development Department, Government of Sikkim at Gangtok.
Shishu Sarothi also partnered with National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) to launch the Missing Million Campaign in Assam,to amplify the voices of millions of persons with disabilities, missing from the mainstream, to seek their active participation in all walks of life.
This campaign was launched in Delhi by Hon'ble Mr. Justice Sripathi Ravindra Bhatt, Judge, Supreme Court of India with a video emphasising on 'What is not counted doesn't count!' highlighting how not having accurate data on disability has excluded people with disabilities from the mainstream.
The launch included a panel discussion and release of the Book, "Invisible Majority" by Mr. V.R. Ferose, by the Hon'ble Member of Parliament Mr. Gaurav Gogoi. Shishu Sarothi endorses the ten-point Charter presented after the panel discussion which includes :
• Implementation of the RPwD Act, 2016
• Dis-aggregated data on Disability
• Disability representation in all Ministries, Departments and Committees
• Accessible and affordable healthcare services for all persons with disabilities
• Tax incentives and improved returns on investment options
• Quality inclusive education for students with disabilities
• Digital Inclusion, Cities and towns must be made accessible
• Accessible transport and Tourism
• Political participation of persons with disabilities across all levels of governance
• Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction
The situation of people with disabilities in Assam is no different from rest of the country. It is almost 5 years now that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 has been in force but there are thousands without disability certificate, online process for UDID is still not accessible, many face hurdles in even getting their Aadhar Cards.
Access to quality education, to livelihood opportunities, to equality and non-discrimination on the ground of disability, is still not a reality for people with disabilities.
With the pandemic, their situation has been more acutely marginalised, setting them far back. Beneficial schemes of the government are a welcome measure to provide some support to people with disabilities.
It is observed that as long as our infrastructure, facilities, services and development initiatives and programs are not consciously tailored to include people with disabilities, they will continue to be the missing population, who are denied access to their basic human rights.