Many Words About Disabilities In Naga Dialects Aren’t Very Positive, Says Diethono Nakhro - Eastern Mirror
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Many words about disabilities in Naga dialects aren’t very positive, says Diethono Nakhro

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: May 30, 2024 7:53 pm
Diethono Nakhro
Diethono Nakhro along with the organisers and participants of the workshop in Dimapur on Thursday. (EM Images)

DIMAPUR — Nagaland State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Diethono Nakhro, on Thursday said that people with disabilities are often described in ways that are disempowering, discriminatory, degrading and offensive.

The language that people use to refer to persons with disabilities (PwDs) can have an impact, as it shapes the way people think about disability and how they look at them, she added.

She was addressing the workshop on ‘Documenting terminologies used by various Naga and non Naga tribes and communities in Nagaland regarding disability and its implications’, at Don Bosco Institute for Development and Leadership (DBIDL).

The workshop was a joint initiative of the Office of the State commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and Prodigals’ Home, Dimapur.

Asserting that words have the power to shape attitudes, believes and behaviours towards disability, Nakhro suggested use of positive words and language to promote inclusivity and respect.

All the tribes in the state speak different languages and dialects but many words about disabilities are not very positive, she said, while suggesting to come up with positive words that create a positive attitude about disabled persons.

Citing her own example, she said wheelchair gives her the freedom to move around, and so she does not like using the word ‘wheelchair bound’.

She also elaborated on the Rights of Person with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016, how it provides for full and effective participation and inclusion in society, and that it applies to government, non-government and private organisations.

Persons living with disabilities do not want pity but we want inclusion in everything that is going on and our needs, she said.

Further highlighting various challenges of the PwDs, Nakhro said that the disabled people are not only the world’s largest minority but also are a historically disadvantaged section of the society with higher risk of poverty.

She also lamented PwDs being frequently excluded from education, vocational training and employment opportunities, adding that they also face attitudinal barriers such as stereotyping and stigma; environmental barriers such as inaccessible communication systems and lack of services; and institutional barriers.

Breaking down these barriers is the only path to an inclusive world, a world where no one is left behind, she maintained.

Dr. Imlitemsu Ozukum, in-charge of District Disability Rehabilitation Centre, and Alem Sangtam, Associate Pastor of Dimapur Sangatam Baptist Church, also spoke at the event.

The participants consisting church leaders, teachers, concerned citizens and persons with disabilities, shared ideas and suggestions during the discussion hour.

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: May 30, 2024 7:53:24 pm
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