“Equality is the public recognition, effectively expressed in institutions and manners, of the principle that an equal degree of attention is due to the needs of all human beings.” – Simone Weil
The specially-abled people form the world’s largest minority group with more than 1 billion people or approximately 15 per cent of the 7.4 billion world population having some form of disability. Out of them more than 100 million are children who are likely to experience four times more violence than non-disabled children. Nearly, 80 per cent of the specially-abled live in the developing nations. India, which will soon become the world’s most populous country, is home to more than 27 million specially-abled people.
Fiinovation, being a leading organisation in the social development sector understands that disability is a condition or function which usually leads to poorer health, lower education achievements and fewer economic opportunities. They face lot of difficulties due to lack of services, opportunities and discrimination. In wake of this, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared the year 1981, as the International Year of Disabled Persons. Further, the UNGA proclaimed 1983-1992 as the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons calling for an action plan at international, national and regional levels.
The observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities started in the year 1992, promoting an understanding of disability issues and mobilizing support for the dignity, rights and welfare of the differently-able people. Accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities are fundamental rights recognized by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which has been ratified by 153 countries and are not only objectives, but also pre-requisites for the enjoyment of other rights.
This year, the theme is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The aim is to build a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities. With its experience in the social development sector, Fiinovation strongly feels that achieving the 17 goals requires full inclusion and effective participation of persons with disabilities.
The abilities of persons with disabilities cannot be undermined as in the case of Rio Para-Olympics, where the Indian team performed outstandingly, bringing medals and honour for the country. This day provides an opportunity for everyone to salute them and other specially-abled people who despite all the difficulties continue to inspire world with their contributions. Therefore, Fiinovation urges all governments, businesses and other stakeholders to intensify efforts for ending discriminations that prevent persons with disabilities from exercising their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
Let’s together build a better world.
By Rahul Choudhury
Media & Communications, Fiinovation