GUWAHATI, Dec 4 - A seminar on rights of persons with disabilities was organised by the State Department of Social Welfare at the Madhavadeva International Auditorium, Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra today as part of celebration of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, 2017, in collaboration with Shishu Sarothi.
The seminar provided a platform for discussion and dialogue on ongoing disability issues as well as the new disability law, The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
The seminar saw participation of over 250 persons with disabilities from various organisations and groups like Pratibandhi Suraksha Sangtha, Punar Sansthapan Sanstha, Bikalanga Unnayan Parishad, All Assam Blind Students� Union, besides representatives of civil society, NGOs and Vocational Rehabilitation Centre. Students with disabilities from the Government BDS Deaf and Dumb School were also present on the occasion.
Executive director of Shishu Sarothi Arman Ali, in his welcome address asked persons with disabilities to not always be at the receiving end as beneficiaries but to take on a leadership role vis-a-vis the new disability law, which can be a game changer, if implemented effectively.
The keynote address was delivered by SS Meenakshi Sundaram, Director, Social Welfare. He drew attention to geriatric disabilities which are on the rise and need to be addressed. Alok Saharia, Secretary; SE Alam, Joint Director; Bibhash Modi, Additional Director and PR Gharphalia, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities among others, were also present at the seminar.
Officials of the social welfare department opined that the seminar was the initial step to start regular discourses on disability laws and rights and create awareness amongst various categories of stakeholders as mandated by the new law. The department now plans to organise seminars on relevant disability concepts and issues on a quarterly basis.