International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) was initiated in 1992, with the recommendation of United Nations General Assembly resolution. It is celebrated on December 3 every year with the aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
The theme for 2018 IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development pledges to “leave no one behind”. Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development and promote resilient society for all, including in the context of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action, and urban development.
The world population is more than 7 billion people. Over 1 billion people or about 15% of the world's population have some form of disability, (that is 1 in 7). About 80 per cent of such people live in developing countries.
Disabilities is an umbrella term, includes impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.
The term is often used to refer physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, mental illness, and various types of chronic disease.
Persons with disabilities are “the world’s largest minority”. These persons have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities.
This is largely due to the lack of services available to them (like information and communications technology (ICT), justice or transportation) and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives relating to physical environment, policy or social attitudes or discrimination.
People with disabilities are at much higher risk of violence due to stigma, discrimination, and ignorance about disability, as well as a lack of social support for those who care for them. Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled children.
Types of disabilities-
Disability prevention: It includes all actions taken to reduce the occurrence of impairment (first level prevention) and its development into functional limitation (second level prevention), and to prevent the transition of functional limitation to disability (third level prevention).
The environment should be changed to improve health conditions, prevent impairments, and improve outcomes for persons with disabilities such as accessible design of the built environment and transport, more opportunities for work and employment.
Activities to support persons with disabilities:
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE), Government of India has formulated several acts/legislations and rules/regulations* for providing support to people with disability (PwD). According to guidelines by MoSJE, GOI, the minimum degree of disability should be 40% for an individual to be eligible for any concessions or benefits.
Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) is a nation-wide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility that will enable persons with disabilities to gain access for equal opportunity and live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has also formulated several health programmes for prevention and control of certain diseases such as blindness, polio, leprosy, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis, mental health (which result in disability), mother and child health, immunization; and strengthening of physical medicine rehabilitation centers in medical colleges, and involvement of accredited social health activists (ASHAs) in awareness generation at primary health care level and coordination with District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRCs) at district level.
“Better health for all people with disability”