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Nagaland

Dimapur ‘disabled’ on Intl Day of Persons with Disabilities

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By EMN Updated: Dec 03, 2013 11:52 pm
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Staff Reporter
DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 3

ON a day, globally acknowledged as the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, the commercial town of Dimapur was on Tuesday forced into a mode of total paralysis-thanks to the 12-hour bandh call by opposition Congress.
The irony was not lost on many observers, not least on the organizers of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities here today in Dimapur. Prior to the bandh, the opposition Congress had announced through the newspapers that those involved with the celebration of International Day for Persons with Disabilities would be provided passage. Problem was, the organizers had to ferry most of the participants from their homes which meant constant to and fro across town and pass volunteers. A visibly miffed member of the organizing group said his vehicle, filled with children with disabilities, was made to halt thrice by volunteers before asking him to go back.
It was only after he called a Congress leader stationed at Congress Bhavan Dimapur, monitoring the situation, that the vehicle ferrying children with disabilities was allowed to pass through. Even newspersons, covering the bandh as well as the International Day for Persons with Disabilities at Kuda village, were questioned, “Press laga asey koi kena, keman bar berabo?”
Despite the difficulties presented by the bandh call, and volunteers monitoring the same, the celebration of International Day for Persons with Disabilities at Kuda village was held inside a jam-packed council hall.
Organized by the Disabled People Organization, CHARIS Connect and Prodigals’ Home, it was held under the theme “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all.”
Director Prodigals’ Home, K Ela remarked how years of efforts to raise awareness on the rights and issues of People with Disabilities have to pay dividends today. She alluded to the formation of the State Disability Commission as one such instance.
Ela was quick to point out that the path ahead was still a long, and possibly torturous, one. “In the other districts, there is still a long way to go but at least in Dimapur we can say that people have started discussing the issue,” she said. This, at the least, is a positive sign, Ela felt.
Elaborating on the aspects of Community Based Rehabilitation program, Ela shared that there has been a visible increase in the rate of involvement of churches and communities.
Dr Imlitemsu Ozukum, MD (PMR) of District Hospital Dimapur, shared that treatment of persons with disabilities has become difficult in Dimapur since the closure of the DDRC last year. “Now we have to refer them to Guwahati or Imphal,” he said.
Nagaland is the only Indian state without a single Disabilities Rehabilitation Center. In some states, it is mandatory for all district hospitals to have a Disabilities Rehabilitation Center.
“Medical rehabilitation of persons with disabilities is the most important aspect. Because this will contribute to more abled differently-abled persons in the society,” said Imli, who is the only PMR doctor in the state.
Reliable sources said DDRC at District Hospital Dimapur was placed in care of the Red Cross Society. Reportedly the Red Cross Society had decided to relinquish the responsibility owing to financial constraints and lack of funding from the State agencies.

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By EMN Updated: Dec 03, 2013 11:52:08 pm