GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - Shishu Sarothi, a centre for rehabilitation and training for multiple disabilities, celebrated International Day for Persons with Disability today. The theme for this year is �Inclusion: Access and Empowerment for People of All Abilities�.
The day is observed to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disability. The theme of this year provides a framework for understanding how people with disability are excluded from society and how the issue can be addressed by removal of barriers, including those related to physical environment, information and communication technology or attitudinal barrier.
Students from Sri Aurobindo Vidya Mandir High School, Assam Valley English High School (Birubari) and Seven Sisters International (Hatigaon) showed a noble gesture by participating in various activities with the children of Shishu Sarothi to promote inclusion.
The event was attended by Kamaljit Talukdar, Zonal Collector, Guwahati Municipal Corporation and other officials from the civic body. In order to mark the day, a discussion on disability, accessibility and inclusion was held. Parents and people belonging to diverse fields took part in the discussion. Core issues concerning education, accessibility, employment and women with disabilities were brought to light.
Persons with disabilities from the grassroots level participated in the event and shared space with the others. A special skit was performed by the special educators of Shishu Sarothi and a drawing competition based on inclusion was organised for all the children. This was followed by certificate distribution to the students participating in the event.
As part of the World Disability Day celebration, Bijayini, a network of women with cross-disabilities under the aegis of Shishu Sarothi, was launched and a poster designed collaboratively by its members, released.
Our Jalukbari correspondent adds: Along with the rest of the world, the Indian Institute of Research and Development for Differently Abled (IIRDDA) celebrated World Disability Day in the Phanidhar Dutta Seminar Hall, Gauhati University today.
The programme started with hosting of the flag by Prof Jatin Kalita, Dept of Zoology, GU. Lighting of the lamp and Rangoli were carried out by Dr Hari Prasad Sarma, Rector, GU. On the occasion floral tributes were paid to Professor Stephen Hawking and Dr Bhupen Hazarika.
The other distinguished guests included Sarat Borkotoki, Education Minister, Kanak Sen Deka, ex-president Asam Sahitya Sabha, Dr Suresh Kr Nath, Registrar GU, Prof Jogen Chandra Kalita and Shiv Sankar Singh, Chairman Assam Gramin Vikash Bank.
An open meeting was organised by IIRDDA, where the welcome address was given by its chairman Prof Jatin Kalita. In his speech he spoke about how IIRDDA came into being. He laid stress on means to bring the specially-abled persons to the mainstream and advocated a curriculum for their higher studies as, after matriculation there is no further study for the disabled people.
Prof Kalita further added that awareness about differently-abled people should be generated among the common people at the grassroots level.
Kanak Sen Deka also advocated measures to accommodate these specially abled person in the mainstream. He added that we all should think about our fellow human being. People should not neglect the specially abled persons of society.
Shiv Sankar Singh, in his speech said he was overhelmed in being associated with IIRDDA. He also promised that in future he would lend a helping hand financially to IIRDDA. Singh also sang a song composed by Dr Bhupen Hazarika.
Education Minister Borkotoki, who was present as a special guest, said he would discuss the matter of curriculum for disabled persons with the Chief Minister. He further added that it was time to break the jinx that disabled persons cannot do anything in life. He laid stress on spreading awareness amongst the masses that disabled persons can achieve anything in life.
On the occasion a cash award of Rs 1 lakh was given to Jayashree Sarkar for her outstanding achievement in the fields of arts and sports. She has won many regional, national and international awards. The award was sponsored by the Assam Gramin Vikash Bank.