GUWAHATI, Aug 31 - The Disability Law Unit-NE of Shishu Sarothi recently conducted two programmes in Tripura, including a Capacity Building Programme for Disabled Peoples� Organisations (DPOs) in Agartala and a community awareness programme on Disability Laws and Rights in Belonia in South district of Tripura.
The programmes were conducted with the support of CBR Forum partners, Voluntary Health Association of Tripura (VHAT) in Agartala and Organisation for Rural Survival (ORS) in Belonia.
While the DPO training was attended by about 40 DPO members representing over 25 DPO groups from various districts of the State, the community workshop saw a participation of about 100 participants including SSA and RMSA staff, Anganwadi and ASHA workers, PRI representatives, Health officials, guardians of people with disabilities, DPO members, CBR workers and community elders.
Participants�in the two programmes said that they were attending such trainings on laws and rights for the first time. The programmes, conducted by Amvalika Senapati and Saswati Saikia of DLU, made an endeavour to address disability perceptions, attitudinal barriers, impact of the poverty-disability cycle and the importance of the rights based approach. While it was the general objective to equip DPO members with the know-how of rights of disabled people, the community awareness programme also focused on creating consciousness on roles and responsibilities of officials, other stakeholders and the community at large towards ensuring and upholding the rights of disabled people.
The trainings also focused on various schemes, including both disability specific and mainstream schemes and emphasised on advocacy issues for DPO members and CBR workers.
It was observed by Senapati that the real concern was not the unawareness of the laws but the fact that for most of the stakeholders, the entire disability issue was seen with a welfare approach, where the thrust was more on what welfare could be doled out by the government, rather than asserting rights, becoming empowered and living a life of dignity.