'Need better term in Manipuri to address differently-abled people'

Manipur director of Social Welfare department Ngangom Uttam said that disabled persons have abilities in a different manner and qualities that a normal person does not have.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated on 3 Dec 2021, 6:12 pm




Manipur director of Social Welfare department Ngangom Uttam on Friday appealed to the public to come up with a better term in Manipuri to address the differently-abled persons as the words ‘Soinairaba or Nama Soiraba’ carries negative connotations and gives an unfavourable impression to the people.  

He was speaking at the observation of International Day of Persons with Disabilities organised by the state department of social welfare and the office of chief electoral officer, Manipur under the theme, ‘Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 World’ at Maharaja Chandrakriti auditorium hall, Palace Compound, Imphal.

During the programme, Uttam requested a better word to address PWDs in Manipuri. He said that disabled persons have abilities in a different manner and qualities that a normal person does not have. To create an equal platform without any differentiation between disabled or abled persons, words that create negative thoughts need to be changed, he added.

Uttam stressed that this year's theme focuses on ensuring that the differently-abled persons also have equal participation in the growth and progress of society. It is an initiative to impart relevant education amongst them to strengthen their abilities, he added.

He also highlighted the efforts of several awareness programmes conducted by the office of the CEO, Manipur to ensure the inclusion of the PwDs in the upcoming election. He said that the marking of the PWDs in the electoral roll is important to avail the various aid and facilities that will be arranged for facilitating them in exercising the adult franchise.

During the observation, additional chief electoral officer Manipur N Praveen informed that to provide better services to persons with disabilities in the coming election, ECI Manipur has started marking the PWDs in the state. Presently, 13, 827 PWDs of 70,593 PWDs have been marked in the electoral roll, and it is expected that the number will increase in the final electoral roll which will be published on January 5, 2022, he asserted.

Praveen expressed that the specific needs of the differently-abled persons should be considered and identify their innate abilities to give them the right platform. He highlighted that various activities are initiated for accessible elections to ensure PWDs exercise their voting rights in the Upcoming State Assembly Election, 2022. Praveen also said that marking of the PWDs will help in providing essential assistance on the Poll day and make them avail the Assured Minimum Facility (AMF) in all the polling stations, facilitating them in casting their votes with ease.

Kirankumar emphasised on ensuring an equitable environment that will be accessible for all. He suggested that an assumption based approach will not be impactful. He stressed for the policy to be carried out with a thorough analysis of accessibility in view of the differently-abled persons and should be action-oriented for inclusive growth.   

A Manipuri Drama 'Traffic Jam' directed by Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi was presented during the observance.

State commissioner for PWDs, Manipur Th Dilipkumar; president of Theatre Centre, Manipur Naba Wareppa attended on the occasion.

 In the meantime, District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Imphal West, DLSA, Imphal East and DLSA, Tamenglong jointly conducted a programme at the Conference Hall, ADR Building, Lamphel Court Complex.

Advocate Panel Lawyer, DLSA Imphal East Th Premlata Devi as a resource person, deliberated on various topics under the theme ‘Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities towards an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post - COVID-19 World.’

She said that for a person to identify himself or herself as a disabled person, he or she should possess a certificate and it is compulsory. “Many disabled persons face difficulties in getting the certificate. They rely on someone to run for the certificate. Now, an online facility has been provided for an applicant to apply for a certificate but they still need someone to fill their form,” she said.  She further shared several stories of disabled persons facing violations of their rights.

The programme was attended by chairman, DLSA Imphal West and Tamenglong A Guneshwar Sharma; Judge, Special Court, NDPS, Manipur Lamkhanpau Tonsing;  member secretary MASLSA Ojesh Mutum and president, All Manipur Bar Association, advocate N Nilachandra.

It was participated by judicial officers, panel lawyers, front office, and para legal volunteers of DLSA Imphal West, DLSA Imphal East and DLSA Tamenglong. The programme was conducted under the aegis of Manipur State Legal Services Authority (MASLSA) as a part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.

Meanwhile, the day was also observed at DTC Hall, Tuibong, and Churachandpur where many persons with disabilities gave performances. It was held with the theme ‘Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities toward an Inclusive, Accessibility and Sustainable post-COVID-19 World’.

The programme was held with the DC of Churachandpur Pawan Yadav as chief guest and district social welfare officer, Churachandpur Tamphasana Chanu as the chief host apart from other officials of the district.

Members of Churachandpur District Disable Union, Mercy Home, Gospel Ministry for Disabilities India, The Malsommagra Initiative, Samagra Siksha, and Churachandpur gave their performances during the occasion which ended with vote of thanks by CDDU president T Sianmuanthang.

During the programme, Ministry promoters of GMFDI Doulallem Neihsial delivered the keynote address. He said that the observation of International day of Persons with Disabilities was started in 1992 by the UN to celebrate and acknowledge the rights of PWDs in society where they should not be marginalized and isolated.

The chief guest on the occasion launched the SVEEP campaign for PWDs and said that more than 100 PWDs are enrolled for voting in the coming election. He said that Disability assessment had been made in the past and the same no of PWDs were presented with disability certificates which means that they can cast their votes at home or will be provided transportation.

As the theme indicates, the PWD needs to be accommodated in various programs so that inclusive growth may be a reality, he further said. 

Tampasana Chanu thanked the participants and presented winter blankets to all those PWDs present at the programme.

District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO), Thoubal and Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK), Thoubal on Friday also jointly organised the International Day of People with Disabilities (PWDs) at Regional Institute of Handicapped Persons, Yairipok, Thoubal.
The programme was attended by DC/DEO of Thoubal A Subhash Singh as chief guest; retired joint director, veterinary Dr M Rajendra Singh as president; DSWO/NO SVEEP (PWD), Thoubal A Kameshwar Singh and DYO/NO SVEEP Michael Mate as guests of honour. As part of Accessible and Inclusive Election, t-shirts for the first time voter PWDs were distributed during the programme.

First published:3 Dec 2021, 3:42 pm


IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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