GUWAHATI, March 27 - The SDG Disability Tracker II, Research Study was officially released at a function held at Shishu Sarothi here today.
The research study, carried out by Shishu Sarothi in partnership with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), tracked three specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Voices of 201 persons with disabilities were recorded from two districts of BTAD, Chirang and Kokrajhar for the study. The study reveals multiple layers of marginalisation and exclusion faced by women and men with disabilities on account of their disability, their gender and their ethnicities and their invisibilisation during 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�.
�By tracking these three SDGs, we are able to get an idea of the ground realities of persons with disabilities - their status and role in the families and communities and their representation in decision-making processes, their access to water and sanitation facilities which in turn impact their health and safety and affect the ability of girls with disabilities to attend and remain in schools; the nature of work assigned to them and their prospects for financial and economic independence,� a Shishu Sarothi spokesperson said.
Some of the key findings of the report were related to gender equality, clean water and sanitation and decent work and economic growth.
�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, enrolment in schools, facing discrimination and abuse both within the family and outside, neglect and social exclusion and violence in nuanced forms,� the report said.
Statistical analysis in the study reveals that women�s accessibility to rights and entitlements is always outnumbered by that of men.
On issues of clean water and sanitation, the study highlights that more than half of people with disabilities (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. During times of conflict, 99 per cent of the respondents living in relief camps expressed that �relief camps are not equipped with accessible water and sanitation facilities for PwDs�. Even though the open defecation free (ODF) declaration was made in September, open defecation continues to be practised by a major bulk of the population, it added.
On decent work and economic growth, the research found that only about two per cent 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 is not fully accessible as only few of the places reportedly have ramps. The potential for contribution towards economic growth from persons with disabilities has not sufficiently been tapped, the report revealed.
�Through this collaborative effort, the aim is to promote 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,� the Shishu Sarothi spokesperson said.