Diethono Nakhro calls for acceleration of disability inclusion
Dimapur, Mokokchung, Dec. 3 (EMN): On the occasion of International day of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), Diethono Nakhro, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities shared that a vast majority of disabled people are unemployed and unable to participate in income generating facilities.
Employment, therefore, has to be a major priority in order to have sustainable development.
She was speaking at the virtual programme organised by the office of the state commissioner for persons with disabilities, department of Social welfare, on Thursday, under the theme, “Building back better: Towards inclusion, accessible and sustainable post Covid-19 world”.
She stated that the mission includes disaster management like access to products and services, making social security schemes and programmes more inclusive and responsive for the PwDs, setting up teacher training centres, rehabilitation centres and creating more disability awareness among the public as well as among the differently-abled community.
“We have to take up all this in machine mode to make sure that PwD people are not left behind again whatever the circumstances may be”, she said.
She stated that post Covid-19, as we start reopening and rebuilding the system, it is an opportunity for us to strategise and start building back inclusively, by ensuring that all the provisions of the PwD Act are enforced strictly and quickly.
“Education is the key to social transformation and empowerment and so accessible and inclusive education as laid down in the PwD Act must be made a reality, and also we must ensure that health facility and services are accessible and PwD are able to access quality health care,” she shared.
She asserted that full and proper implementation of the rights of PwD is important and has become more urgent than ever. She said that the enforcement has started before the pandemic started and there are some progress in the state but “since the situation has been bad for a long time in our state, and so while making some progress, it is just the beginning and we still have a long way to go”.
She also said that the last few months have deeply affected everyone but it has been especially hard for vulnerable communities like people living with disabilities because of the many inequalities that exist even before disaster strikes.
“Even under normal circumstances PwD cannot access quality health care, education and employment and they are unable to participate in the community, and they are more likely to live in poverty and experience high rate of violence, neglect and abuse,” she stated, citing that they are most marginalised in any disaster situation and this pandemic has aggravated all the pre-existing inequalities and has highlighted that the work on disability inclusion must be accelerated.
Maong Longkumer, a PwD speaking at the programme, said “we are already with physical barriers but some people’s attitude, behaviour and economical barrier make our life more difficult”. He urged the people to acknowledge their disability.
He shared that “we have already accepted who we are within ourselves and we are ready to live and make progress but there are people who are yet to accept us and being a person with disability does not make us less human.”
He shared that everyone has a collective responsibility to treat a PwD just like everyone else, with dignity, and ‘together we have the power to break this chain.’
Khrieselhounuo Rupreo, another PwD also mentioned that “in our state we rarely come across disabled people and it is not because there are no disabled people but this is because we lack accessibility in public spheres including school, jobs, colleges and other ways of life, and we are confined to isolation at home”.
She said that awareness about disability right is important at all spheres and “we must encourage the disabled and their parents to put effort and make ourselves aware of our rights because knowing our rights will empower us and enable us to make a difference in the society”.
“Let us not be disheartened but be courageous and see our disability as an opportunity to make a difference,” she added.
Secretary of Social Welfare department, Amenla Sashi shared that promoting inclusion for PWD means recognising and protecting their rights.
“We can all play a part in the inclusion process by supporting the many areas in which all levels of government and private enterprise are facilitating change,” she said.
“Implementation in the health sector, education, appointment of disability related matters are under way in the state,” she stated. She further urged everyone to work together to tackle the obstacles, injustice and discrimination that PWD experience.
In a similar programme, the annual celebration was held on the theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ at Ongpangkong Salang in Mokokchung town.
T Bendang Ao, Superintendent Engineer of PHED Mokokchung circle was the special guest at the event. He emphasised that good health does not mean only personal health but encompasses social and mental well-being.
He also said that observance of the day should be based on public awareness about PwDs and celebrate their achievements to boost their confidence.
Zerutso Kesiezie, EAC Mokokchung, also speaking at the event, appealed to the PwDs who are eligible to partake in the suffrage exercise to enlist in the electro roll. He added that the government has provided facilities for the PwDs to exercise their vote during elections and advised them to be a responsible voter in electing the right leader.
Imchawati Kichu, advisor for Mokokchung District Disabled Forum (MDDF), urged the public to create a friendly environment for the PwDs so that they can participate in public activities.
He further appealed to churches and civil organisations to initiate accessibility for PwDs in public places. To mark the occasion, the Mokokchung district administration and MDDF distributed gifts to the Pwds.
The programme was organised by MDDF in collaboration with Care and Support Society and the DEO office, Mokokchung.