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India’s policy disability has crippled the rights of disabled: Javed Abidi

May 30, 2013

Representatives of the disabled community in India strongly advocate for the inclusion of disability in the post-2015 development agenda.

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Angry over the omission of issues related to the disabled people in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), activists have strongly advocated for the inclusion of concerns related to the disabled community, particularly from the developing countries, in the post-2015 development agenda.

Speaking during the Post-2015 Development Agenda Consultation, organised by National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) and Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), Javed Abidi, Honorary Director, NCPEDP, said it was unfortunate that despite every sixth person being disabled, the MDGs ignored this section of society from their millennium framework.

Talking about the significance of involving the aspirations of the disabled people from the developing world, especially South Asia, Abidi said, around 80 per cent of the global disabled are in the South and their needs are different from those living in the developed world.

Abidi said the needs of the disabled people have to be highlighted at the national level so that the Indian government can leverage its potential in putting forward the issues during the framing of the post-2015 development agenda.

Pooja Parvati, Campaign Lead, Post-2015 Agenda, WNTA, said that her organisation will bring together various stakeholders to build a national consensus on issues left out of the post-2015 development framework including the concerns of the disabled. Drawing attention towards the fundamental gaps in MDG goals, Parvati rued that despite poverty levels coming down in India, inequality at various levels has increased manifold.

“The global North has for long has been able to influence the agenda for the South including the MDGs. We would link various networks in the region for giving due representation to the aspirations of people from this part of the world too,” Parvati said.

The consultation plans to forward a five-point-charter include issues like enabling environment/accessibility, education (capacity building), health (rehabilitation), livelihood and employment and social security (enabling atmosphere), to the Indian government for incorporation in the post-2015 development agenda.

Abidi criticised the Indian government for being indifferent to the needs of the disabled community for six-long-decades and said that the policy disability of the country has actually crippled the rights of the disabled in the sub-continent. He now wants work by the Indian government to be visible at the global level.

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