International Day of Persons With Disabilities 2017: Transformation Towards Sustainable and Resilient Society for All

International Day of Persons With Disabilities 2017: Transformation Towards Sustainable and Resilient Society for All

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Highlights:
  • The theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2017 is "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all."
  • Individuals with disabilities can contribute to a similar and sometimes greater extent than others if social and other barriers that restrict them are removed.
  • The combined efforts of individuals, societies, non-government organizations as well as the government could ensure the integration of people with disabilities into the society.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2017 is being celebrated on the 3rd of December 2017 by the United Nations with the theme, "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all."
  • Stephen Hawking suffers from a condition called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which has left him totally paralyzed and unable to speak, but nothing could come in his way of being one of the world's most famous physicists
  • The Indian danseuse Sudha Chandran continued to enthrall her audience with her classical dance even after losing a limb
  • Stevie Wonder is blind, but his contribution to music is immense
  • Bharat Kumar, Girish Sharma, Shekhar Naik and H Boniface Prabhu have demonstrated that even sports are career options for people with physical disabilities
The above are only a few examples of individuals who did not allow their physical or mental disability to come in their way of succeeding in life. Their achievements are due to sheer will power and despite the fact that we live in a world that is not disabled-friendly.
International Day of Persons With Disabilities 2017: Transformation Towards Sustainable and Resilient Society for All

The word 'disability' is suggestive of the deficiency of a physical or mental faculty. According to statistics, around one billion people in the world have some form of disability. Human beings are, however, an extremely heterogeneous species. A person who cannot do a particular job may excel in another and play his/her role in society.

In our fast moving world, we do not have the time to take people afflicted with disabilities along with us, who may need a hand to hold to catch up with the rest of the world. People with disabilities, especially the 80% who live in the developing countries, suffer from lack of adequate health facilities (often due to the high costs involved), and lack of access to special education (which interferes with their proper development). They are often abused physically and mentally, with regressive societies constantly reminding them of their disabilities. The lack of opportunities results in several of these individuals resorting to begging or being completely dependent on others throughout their lives. Unfortunately, the world does not realize that if allowed to live a life of dignity, these individuals could contribute to a significant extent to the society. Their untapped potential could be a loss to humanity.

The theme for this year's International Day of Persons with Disabilities is "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all." If our society is open to one and all, irrespective of whether the person is disabled or not, the benefits will extend not only to the individuals with disabilities, but to the entire society. The theme is in sync with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which pledges to "leave no one behind". Some steps that can ensure that barriers do not come in the way of the success stories of persons with disabilities include the following:
  • Financial, medical and logistic help should be provided to individuals with disabilities. Artificial prostheses, wheelchairs and other equipment should be subsidized and made easily available.
  • Special education and occupational therapy should be made available to rehabilitate those affected by disabilities. The government should support the non-government organizations who strive to integrate the individuals with disabilities into the general society, promote their dignity and ensure equal opportunities to empower them to carry on their role in the society.
  • Our society has to be made disabled-friendly. Ramps should be present in every public building so that a wheelchair-bound person does not feel limited in any way. The governments should set rules to ensure that all barriers that interfere with the integration of disabled individuals into the society should be removed. In this context, The Rights of People with Disabilities (RPD) Act 2016 is an important step taken by the Government of India towards the empowerment and protection of people with disabilities.
  • Finally, nothing will change unless people change their attitudes towards persons with disabilities. Awareness should be created in the society to end the discrimination, stigma and stereotyping associated with disabilities. People should be encouraged to identify the potential in others, rather than looking for flaws. Such an approach could ensure that the word 'disability' slowly moves out of the dictionary.
Reference:
  1. International Day of Persons with Disabilities - (http://www.un.org/en/events/disabilitiesday/index.shtml)

Source-Medindia

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