“2 percent of India’s total population are PWDs”
IMPHAL, January 19: Prasanna Pincha, former Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities said, according to the 2011 census, there are more than 2,68,00,000 PWDs in India which forms 2.21 percent of the total population.
He was speaking at a one day sensitization workshop for media personnel on Disability Issues held at the Hotel Classic organised by the National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities, Chennai and Spastic Society of Manipur, NIEPMD Extension Centre Manipur.
Pincha also talked about several issues related to Person with Disabilities (PWDs).
Quoting a study by DFID, he said “20 percent of the world’s poorest of the poor are PWDs.”
He further pressed on the imperative role of the media in building a positive perceptions and perspectives in respect of PWDs.
“This will dispel myths and exert pressure upon the government and civil societies to ensure that their work of promoting the rights of PWDs is on the right track towards their advancement and empowerment.”
He said, “It is outrageous and obscenely ridiculous to equate ones’ disability with ones’ inability!” He explained that one’s disability is not ones’ overall inability hence there is nothing stigmatizing about disability.
He dwelt on the various terminologies that are used to describe the PWDs and the connotations and negative implications of some unhealthy terms.
He insisted that disability is more of a Human Rights and Development issue rather than a charity or medical issue.
According to him it has a social angle to it which is discriminative and unhealthy.
Pincha said, “Following the United Nations adoption of the UN Convention on Rights of PWDs in 2007, India had signed and rectified the treaty too.”
“This means India has given a solemn commitment to the community of nations that it will harmonize all its relevant domestic laws and policies to make them compatible to International Human Rights Conventions.”
He continued, “In this direction, the Rights of Disables Bill was moved to replace the existing PWD Act 1995 which was passed casually without any debate.”
He requested the MP present tin the function o encourage a vibrant debate on the present bill in order to sensitise both the MPs and the public in the process.
Meanwhile, director of Social Welfare department L Nabakishwar talked on the schemes being implemented by his department for the welfare of the PWDs.
He said that the State has PWD population of 54,110 according to the 2011 census which is 2 percent of the State’s total population.
Meanwhile, one of the participants Y Bijaya programme executive, AIR pointed out the callous attitude of the State government in regards to the PWDs and said no government buildings in the State has PWD friendly infrastructure not even in the Social Welfare office.
To this, Nabakishwar responded that he has been repeatedly writing to the secretariat on the issue.
Bijaya suggested that the concerned minister has to be sensitised so that she can take the campaign forward progressively.
Manipur MP Dr Th Meinya who was the chief guest of the function assured to meet the concerned Union Minister and take up the issue of the two bills related with Persons with Disabilities which are pending in the Parliament.
The two pending bills are The Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 and The Mental Health Care Bill, 2013, he said.
Stating that he has been utilizing his MP Local Area Development Fund with more emphasis on the promotion of the education sector, the MP observed that if there is any proposal for improving education facilities for the PWDs he will consider expending funds to the proposals.
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