Sunday, December 6, 2020
Home India Pandemic's Impact on People With Disabilities

Pandemic’s Impact on People With Disabilities

The life of a disabled during these tough times

Often reliant on a robust caregiving and support network, people with disabilities (PwDs) are a community hit hard during the lockdown and resulting operational slowdown – impacting jobs, businesses, and livelihood.

Dr. Jitender Aggarwal, a practicing dentist who turned disability rights activist when he gradually lost vision to macular degeneration of retina in 2004, says that for PwDs, challenges are aplenty during the pandemic.

Follow us on Facebook to get the latest news updates from us!!

Dr. Aggarwal, who is the founder of Sarthak Educational Trust, says distancing is not an option for many as they rely on others including personal support workers and caregivers to support their needs including movement, bathing, and feeding. He feels information on COVID-19 infection prevention strategies focused on the needs of people with disabilities are not being disseminated through media or other sources.

“Due to COVID-19 restriction, many people with disabilities who operated small businesses or other informal livelihood ventures (i.e. home cell phone repair or machine repair shops, selling goods etc) are unable to work and there is a significant loss of income, which is not compensated by government programs.

“Country-wide lockdown which places restrictions on movement within the community (including bus travel) and lack of income prevent them from acquiring needed protective material including face masks, hand sanitizers, and hand wash. Acquiring these materials is particularly important for people with disabilities as many are in direct physical contact with caregivers and support workers. In addition, COVID-19 rules surrounding the restriction of movement within the community affects people with mobility issues, even more, creating another barrier to obtaining these materials. Government programs provide basic needs including rice and grains, but not protective material,” Dr. Aggarwal told IANSlife over email.

Distancing not an option for people with disabilities
The activist highlights initiatives that must be taken at the policy and community level to better-enable the community in these hard times. Pixabay

Dr. Aggarwal, whose NGO focuses on making PwDs self-reliant by skilling them and helping them get jobs, says job loss affects not just the individual, but also family income.

Speaking about the viability of telemedicine for people with disabilities, he said that it is a substitute but not the solution as early intervention therapies need manual intervention but social distancing restricts this. “Telemedicine is more dependent on parental/caretaker support, supervision followed by sensitivity among the individual.”

Dr. Aggarwal’s initiative, Sarthak, imparted training via the online medium to around 1200 people with disabilities, and provided job opportunities to 300 PwDs under the work-from-home model, along with online counseling of individuals and families on multiple themes. It also connected people with disabilities with available community resources which are difficult to access during this period of lockdown including pharmacies, medical clinics, and assistive equipment providers.

Also Read: High Blood Sugar Increases Covid-19 Death Risk: Study

“Sarthak always advocates for the business model – hire a PwD on the basis of his talent and not on his disability,” he said.

The activist highlights initiatives that must be taken at the policy and community level to better-enable the community in these hard times. Among those, are providing accessible information to people with disabilities, diverting a percentage of PM Cares fund towards disability empowerment, redirecting CSR funds towards healthcare and skill-building, and promoting digitization and e-learning. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,777FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Detection of Corona Virus In Nasal Swab Through Smartphone

A team of researchers in the US has developed an assay that can detect the presence of the Covid-19 virus in a nasal swab...

Autoimmune Disease Causes Early Death Risks During COVID

Researchers have now found that people with rare autoimmune rheumatic diseases are at a greater risk of dying at a younger age amid the...

Japanese Capsule To Bring Asteroid Sample To Earth

A Japanese capsule is on its way to bring a precious sample from asteroid Ryugu which is expected to help in a better understanding...

Unmet Job Expectations Cause Suicide Risks in Men

Declines in jobs may have left some working-class men frustrated by unmet job expectations and they are more likely to suffer an early death...

Sania Mirza Learnt To Appreciate Small Things in Pandemic

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza says the Covid-19 pandemic has taught her to appreciate the small things, and value every moment spent with family. Sania...

Your Complete Guide On How To Select The Best Credit Card

The trend of using a credit card is on the rise for the affluent population, who can afford the expense. Given the abundant variety...

Women With PTSD And Depression Are On Higher Risk Of Early Death

Women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression have an almost fourfold greater risk of early death from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, type 2...

World-Famous Hornbill Festival From Nagaland Goes Virtual

The Naga Heritage Village, the epicenter of the world-famous Hornbill Festival is quiet this year with the celebrations turned online due to the Covid-19...

Recent Comments