People with disabilities demand attention on World Disability Day

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New Delhi/Chennai/Siliguri, Dec.3 (ANI): As the World Disability Day was marked by the disabled people in different parts of the world on Thursday (Dec.3), the people with disabilities in India demanded serious attention of the government and society towards their needs.

People with disabilities held rallies in various parts of the country to assert their rights on this occasion of World Disability Day on Wednesday (Dec.3) and demanded that their needs be recognised.

In the national capital, a meet was organised at the India gate in which representatives of several non- governmental organisations participated.

The day was commemorated to remind the society to become more inclusive and sensitive to the needs of the disabled people.

Activists observed that the government must introduce new legislation to help the people with disabilities to join the mainstream and live with dignity.

"Perhaps this is the only day (World Disability Day) when we are remembered. Leaders, society and media remember us. People talk about our cause on this very day. Media talks about people with disabilities and their rights. Leaders talk about us and discuss our cause. This is perhaps the only day we are subject of discussion. It is a very special day and it is our day and this is when we are together to unite and express gratitude to all who stand with us," said Javed Abidi, Convener of Disabled Rights Group.

In Chennai, a march by the handicapped was organized which demanded three percent reservation in jobs.

"Today, we are here together to unite and show solidarity telling the government to provide three percent reservation which is our right and this should not happen from a charity model or a medical model, this should be accepted as a right. Public transport, employment are not easily accessible to us we must get employment and we should have a separate ministry for that (for the implementation of the schemes for the people with disabilities). Public sector is definitely opening up but there is a need of more legislations, " said T. M. N. Deepak, Vice President, Federation of Physically Handicapped in Tamil Nadu.

In West Bengal's Siliguri district, children with disabilities assembled at the Hill Cart road to make people aware about their rights.

World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982. India has also ratified the Convention.

According to the Census 2001, 21.9 million persons (2.13 per cent) of the country's total population of over a billion people are disabled, and that 7 million (1.67 per cent) of these are in the age-group 0-19 years. (ANI)

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