“Abled does not mean enabled. Disabled does not mean less abled”
-Khang Kijarro Nguyen
Disability Pride Month is celebrated each year in July. This month celebrates disabled people who embrace and celebrate their disabilities. It is a time for the disability community to unite, support, and amplify each other’s voices and be heard. Disability pride is to accept each person’s uniqueness despite their disabilities and to see it as something beautiful and worthy.
There are more than a billion people with disabilities worldwide. Their contributions benefit us all. Since 1990, DisabilityPride Month has been celebrated every July. This was the month when the Americans with Disability Act came into power. It banned discrimination against people with disabilities and extended rights to protect persons with disabilities.
Ann Magill who was a disabled woman created the Disability Pride Flag. Each of the flag’s elements symbolizes a part of the disability community.
- The Black Field: the disabled people who lost their lives due to suicide.
- The Colors: Each color represents a different disability or impairment.
- Red: physical disabilities
- Yellow: cognitive and intellectual disabilities
- White: invisible and undiagnosed disabilities
- Blue: mental illness
- Green: sensory perception disabilities
In a society where disability is viewed as unfortunate. Celebrating it can help create a sense of identity and belonging for those belonging to the community.
WHERE DOES INDIA STAND
A lot of people in society often look down on people with disability. They need additional help to do basic things in life. They usually take a little more time than the rest of the people. This support helps differently-abled people to have a more fruitful life. Hence, there are some government schemes for the disabled in India which make the life of these people a little easier.
VARIOUS SCHEMES BY THE GOVERNMENT
1. Divyanjan Swavalamban Yojana
The purpose of this scheme is to make the concessional benefit available for the specially-abled people. With the help of this scheme, these differently-abled people can get financial help. Also, they can continue their education, and buy a disability-friendly vehicle with better accessories. This scheme provides loan facilities to the visually impaired so that they can buy the items which are necessary to ease their lives.
2. Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)
The government introduced this scheme to help people with a disability perform tasks that help in creating a better environment for them. It also ensures that PwD gets similar opportunities to empower themselves like all the other people thus providing social justice and equity.
3. Assistance for Disabled Persons (ADIP)
The ADIP scheme helps people with disability to purchase various accessories to help them in their daily life. The main objective is to assist the PwD to get the latest and enhanced products that help them to have a more fruitful life, improve their physical abilities, and increase their social acceptance. This significantly reduces the impact of their disabilities and gives them a chance to become financially independent.
4. Accessible India Campaign
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) launched the Accessible India Campaign across the entire nation to provide people with any disability with universal accessibility. Its main objective was to make the environment physically accessible to everyone. Steps should be taken to remove obstacles in both indoor and outdoor facilities including schools, workplaces, and footpaths. Ramps should be made and railings should be installed where necessary.
LIMITATIONS TO VARIOUS SCHEMES
July is when countries celebrate disability pride month. But in India, it is yet to find its place despite a new rise in interest in disability rights. In India, being disabled is unfortunate, undesirable and one of the worst ways to live. The social stigma attached to the disabled and people’s attitudes towards them is the main cause of the limited impact of various schemes. Further, there is also a lack of a universal definition of who constitutes the disabled and they remain at the bottom of the government’s priority list. Corruption and mismanagement of funds are also major causes behind the poor implementation.
In Uttar Pradesh, with the proposed Population Control Bill, an elected state government believes that disabled individuals are incomplete and incapable. Section 15 of the same bill states that the two-child norm will not apply if one of the two children has a disability. Then there are stereotypes about disability being the result of bad karma.
Despite many steps taken by the Indian government for educational reform for disabled children, national surveys show that the Indian education system is not inclusive of children with special needs. Among children with any disability, only around 10% have completed secondary education, and only around 62% of disabled people till the age of 35 have attended regular schools.
STEPS THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN
- Most importantly, while coming up with solutions to make the system more inclusive and compatible, policymakers should first understand and accept the fact that disability is not something to look down upon.
- Disabled adults need to be empowered with relevant skills that can help them gain jobs and hence financial independence.
- The Government needs to devise state-wise strategies for the education of children with special needs. Additionally, there should be proper teacher training to address the needs of the differently-abled children and facilitate their inclusion in regular schools.
- Safety measures like road safety, safety in residential areas, and public transport systems should be taken up. Further, all the buildings should be disabled-friendly and have the required facilities.
Moreover, budgetary allocation for the welfare of the disabled. There should be a disability budgeting line for the gender budget.
This July was named for people with disabilities to celebrate themselves and their uniqueness but we strongly believe that not only July, one should celebrate every month of the year as a disability pride month to help specially-abled people embrace themselves.