Friday April 10, 2020

Social acceptance more important to empower the disabled: UNICEF official

0
//
photo credit: pages.rediff.com

New Delhi: Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF’s representative to India, said to motivate persons with disabilities (PwD) to do better and come up in all walks of life, the government needed to focus more and more on community-based rehabilitation programmes that can teach people to accept physically-challenged persons.

index“There’s always much more to be done while addressing the cause of disability. While India is doing its part to solve the issue with various policies and programmes, I think the focus should be more on community-based rehabilitation programmes,” Arsenault told IANS.

“These programmes would help teach normal society the manner to deal with persons with disabilities,” he said, adding: “Acceptance of these people by society is the most important step in empowering them.”

Asked whether India has suitable infrastructure for PwDs, Arsenault said: “It’s not about the infrastructure; the mindset first needs to be changed and then the infrastructural plans could come in.

“Creating an appropriate infrastructure is not a big deal– not that expensive either– but the way we think about the persons with disabilities is something that matters a lot,” Arsenault added.

According to the 2011 census, over 2.2 per cent of the Indian population is disabled, while the erstwhile Planning Commission placed the figure at five per cent. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates it to be eight per cent.

In a bid to help these people, the Narendra Modi government has launched its Accessible India Campaign that aims at building accessible government buildings for PwDs and providing them accessible transportation facilities.

Happy with the government’s initiative, Sminu Jindal, the managing director of Jindal Saw Ltd and the founder of NGO Svayam, said: “Inaccessibility of public infrastructure remains a major challenge. When people with disabilities cannot come out of their homes, use pedestrian pathways or means of public transport, all the benefits and facilities conferred by the state like right to education and three per cent reservation in public employment, among others, fail to bring desired empowerment.”

“Similarly, despite inclusive education being a legal mandate, access to education continues to be a challenge due to lack of accessible infrastructure and special educators and lack of will to include children with disabilities,” added Jindal, who was crippled after an accident in 2011.

She said the government needs to focus more on implementation of its programmes related to persons with disabilities and added: “Though the government has started various social schemes for the marginalized, there is need for a concentrated and focussed approach with stipulated timelines to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities and the elderly in the mainstream.”

Nikhil Gupta, the co-director of the ESCIP Trust India that works for the empowerment of people with injured spinal cords, felt that persons with disabilities are “bound to live a miserable life” in the absence of proper treatment and rehabilitation.

“If a wheelchair user wants to go out with friends or family there are very few accessible restaurants, movie halls and public places. The number of these places are even less than our fingers and that too in Metro cities,” he said.

“Thus, the government needs to come up with much more programmes and most importantly implement them so that the change could take place”, said Gupta.

(Prashant Kumar, IANS)

Next Story

“High Temperature Won’t Finish Novel Coronavirus”, Says WHO

On myth around holding breath for a few minutes to check coronavirus, the WHO said, "Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort doesn't mean you are free from the coronavirus or any other lung disease"

0
WHO
The WHO, in a series of tweets, busted several myths about coronavirus, especially regarding rise in temperature. Wikimedia Commons

Though many experts have expressed optimism towards the onset of summer in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday said high temperature would not finish the virus.

The WHO, in a series of tweets, busted several myths about coronavirus, especially regarding rise in temperature. “Exposing yourself to sun or to temperatures higher than 25 degree Celsius doesn’t prevent Covid-19. You can catch Covid-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is,” the WHO said.

Stating that countries having higher temperature didn’t remain unaffected, it said the only way to be safe was to ensure hygiene. “Countries with hot weather have also reported Covid-19 cases. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose,” the WHO said.

Coronavirus
Though many experts have expressed optimism towards the onset of summer in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday said high temperature would not finish the virus. Pixabay

The WHO said drinking methanol, ethanol or bleach wouldn’t prevent or cure Covid-19 and could be extremely dangerous, as these were used in cleaning products to kill the virus on surfaces. “If consumed, they will not kill the virus in the body, but will harm internal organs,” it said. Also drinking alcohol was no protection against coronavirus, it said and added, frequent or excessive liquor consumption could increase risk of health problems.

On myth around holding breath for a few minutes to check coronavirus, the WHO said, “Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort doesn’t mean you are free from the coronavirus or any other lung disease.”

ALSO READ: Zoom Raiders Use Social Media Platforms Like Instagram, Twitter To Organise Campaigns

The best way to confirm about the disease was laboratory test. “You can’t confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous,” said the WHO. (IANS)