Every year across the world, the 3rd of December is celebrated as the ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It is an occasion to promote consciousness among the general public about disability and at the same time celebrating the achievements and contributions of persons with disabilities.
The theme for the year 2020 for IDPD was “Building Back Better: toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world by, for and with persons with disabilities”.
The day is designated by United Nations to make society aware of the political, social, economic, and cultural life of people with disabilities. It is with this passion that Hope Disability Centre supported by HCL Foundation celebrated ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ 2020 at Tagore Hall Srinagar.
The ongoing pandemic has impacted the lives of persons with disabilities in varied ways such as economic, health, and social. Hence, this year’s theme lays stress on fortifying our collective efforts for universal access to essential services, including health, social protection, education, employment, and other socio-cultural opportunities in order to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind in times of crisis.
For organizers, the objective was to promote social inclusion with equal opportunities for persons with and without disabilities.
The event got off to a start with a brief introduction by the anchor about the importance of celebrating this day. Following his brief introduction, a beautiful recitation of the Quran and Naat by a visually blind person ensued.
Differently disabled persons were placed on the stage performing different activities to send across the message that this day belongs to them.
The program was carried forward by a beautiful song and dance performance which livened up the audience and brought them to their feet.
Four success stories were featured intermittently during the course of the event narrated by the anchor besides two benefices shared their thoughts with the audience about the disability day and the challenges they face in their everyday life. An inclusive art competition was happening concurrently to enable children to showcase their creative side.
Moreover, an inclusive skit built around this year’s theme with a focus on augmenting the accessibility of persons with disabilities to various services and schemes was also featured.
Advisor to Governor Mr. Baseer Khan was the Chief Guest and the event was attended by many dignitaries and more than 300 people from different walks of life including people with disabilities.
The persons with disabilities traveled from far-off places to attend the event and be a part of the celebration.
The chief guest Mr. Baseer Ahmad Khan in his address stressed creating a conducive environment to make the life of persons with disabilities easy so that they could feel comfortable in society. He further added that “Government has taken up various actions and initiatives to help specially-abled persons and provide them facilities for overcoming the challenges of their day to day life”.
While referring to the keenness of the government to ease up the lives of persons with disabilities, he particularly pointed out the department of social welfare for their support to them by providing them with wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and other incentives.
While there was an expression of concern by speakers including persons with disabilities regarding the non-availability of a ramp at the venue for wheelchairs bound persons to get onto the stage. This was also taken note of by the Chief Guest who promised to build a ramp at the venue soon. He said we as a society should take care of specially-abled persons in this pandemic and protect them from Covid-19.
He had a word of appreciation for Hope Disability Centre for highlighting issues the persons with disabilities face and creating awareness in the society to accept their unique potential.
Children who participated in the art competition were handed out special art kits while memento speakers, artists, and the anchor.
The vote of thanks was presented by Huzaifa, Programs Coordinator (SHSFWE). She thanked the participants, partners, and HCL foundation for their support.
The event was covered by print and electronic media of Kashmir. It appeared in the valley’s leading newspapers and was also carried by electronic media as well.