Not All Disabilities are Visible
Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you are needed by someoneMartina Navratilova
One billion people, 15% of the world’s population, are disabled in some form or the other. 80% of them live in developing countries, ~ 46% of them are people aged 60 plus years. One in every five women is likely to experience disability in her life. At the same time, one in every ten children is a child with a disability. The statistics are frightening and cause anguish. International Day of People with Disabilities is a particular time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability and increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance, Says Wade Lange – Managing Director, IDPD
The societies have started taking measures to reduce the gender gap and socio-economic differences so that every individual would have equal opportunities to flourish in society. While working towards achieving the goal of equality and justice and achieve sustainable development, it is essential to accommodate persons with disabilities. December 3rd is proclaimed as “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” by the UN in 1992 and is observed since then. The theme for this year is “Building back better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable posts COVID-19 19 world”.
The COVID-19 19 pandemic has impacted all societies. Some sections of society harder than others. The persons with disabilities were the hardest hit due to COVID. They already face exclusion under normal conditions and the current situation made it harder for them to retain jobs, access health care and function. The observance day aims to promote the understanding of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities and create awareness on the importance of disability inclusion. Disability inclusion is a shared investment in the future ecosystem. Disability inclusion is essential as it gives everyone equal opportunities, self-dignity, rights, and protects persons with disabilities.
The UN, governments and many organizations are working towards improving the lives of disabled people. ‘To leave no one behind’, is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities urges the full integration of persons with disabilities into society and focuses on their rights. Local bodies should also world to achieve disability inclusion, so is the individuals. It can be as simple as giving up a seat in local transport or following a stringent non-discriminatory policy while hiring the employees. Disability is part of the human experience. Health systems must be inclusive of people with disability, says WHO.
Unfortunately, not all disabilities are visible and understanding the same is the challenge. As Stephen Hawking demonstrated, concentrate on things your disability does not prevent you from doing well.
My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability does not prevent you from doing well and do not regret the things it interferes with. Do not be disabled in spirit as well as physically.Stephen Hawking
All of us have the responsibility to make this world a better place. Bringing awareness goes a long way in bridging the gaps. Observation of days like these are opportunities to motivate people and societies to work to get that balance.
Toons: Anusha and Reema Jaiswal
Logs: Sneha Yadla and Sai Baba