Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Disability: ‘Nagaland still lags behind but positives happening’

By Our Correspondent Updated: Mar 06, 2020 12:43 am
Diethono Nakhro addresses a meeting of parents of children with disability. EM Images

Our Correspondent
Kohima, March 5 (EMN):
Nagaland lags far behind when it comes to the area of disability and welfare implementation for the community. Nonetheless, while there is much more to do, there is some improvement and will continue to improve, said the state commissioner for persons with disabilities Diethono Nakhro. 

A parents’ meeting organised by the National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities in association with Parivaar-National Confederation of Parents Organisation (NCPO) was conducted on Thursday at Meriema in Kohima. The event was hosted by the Nagaland Parents’ Association for the Disabled (Napad).

In the inaugural session of the programme, the state commissioner for persons with disabilities, Diethono Nakhro said Nagaland lags far behind when it comes to the area of disability. “For a long time, nobody paid attention, laws were not implemented, self advocates were missing, and there was and still is very little awareness and understanding of disability rights and issues in general,” she said.

She said even the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWD Act) 2016 in the state has been slow in implementation. “It doesn’t give me joy to say all these and obviously it’s not a badge of honour for our state. But we cannot deny the truth.”

Nonetheless, the commissioner expressed happiness for other positive things that are happening today. She said, “While awareness is still poor and there’s so much more that we need to do, it has improved a lot and continues to improve. Implementation of the RPWD Act has also finally begun in earnest – various provisions have been notified and activated and we are looking to push ahead on all these in the coming months.”

Nakhro asserted that the state government was willing to listen and work with the disabled community. “This is so important and we, of course, appreciate this very much because without the full backing and involvement of the government, without the cooperation of those in power, the policy makers, it will be impossible to get much done,” she said.

According to the official, “Among the many different disabilities, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face much more stigma and discrimination than others. They are regularly dehumanised and devalued. Where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are concerned, stereotypes, misinformation and a general lack of interest all contribute to a culture of ignorance.”

Nakhro stated that parents and families play a huge role as advocacy partners for persons with disabilities. She asserted,  ‘Families are in fact among the most important stakeholders in efforts to improve the lives of children with disabilities and the effectiveness of parents and family members as advocates for children with a variety of disabilities is well known.’

“Parents have the social and legal responsibility as well as an emotional investment in their children’s welfare,” she said.

Nakhro observed that to be more effective and impactful, networking with one another, collaborating with professionals and being equipped with more knowledge are essential. She acknowledged the Parivaar-NCPO for the work that they do in connecting parents and families across the country and for promoting family advocacy and leadership.

SN Bijur, president of the Parivaar-NCPO gave the event’s keynote address. He highlighted the objectives of the organisation, which is an organisation of parents who gather to share and exchange ideas, new legislations, and strive to upkeep the welfare of the disabled with the objective to carry forward and educate citizens.

Bijur said that early intervention into the needs of the children is critical, and told the parents not only to sympathise but also to motivate and impart education, which are the activities of life and living to their children.

After the inaugural function, the programme had a technical session that discussed various topics concerning the welfare of persons with disabilities.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Mar 06, 2020 12:43:44 am