The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed every year on 3rd of December aiming at the promotion of equal participation of people with different disabilities along with their inclusion in varied aspects of society and development. Looking at this, the theme for 2020 has been set as “Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World.”
Why there is a need to talk about disability in today’s context?
A staggering 2.68 crore people are living with some form of disability, which is 2.21% of the total population of India. Among them, 12.6 million are males and 9.3 million are females. In Odisha, the number stands at 12, 44, 402 (3.2% of the population), which is the highest in the country.
Besides, COVID-19 pandemic has been traumatic for this population, as all disabilities are not visible. Many have stayed isolated, without proper healthcare facilities and disruptive routines, which has not only impacted lives but also impacted their mental well being.
There is a need to set up reminders of removing all sorts of barriers for persons with disabilities.
Odisha is yet to become the ‘Sugamya’ state where accessible features will be made available to the persons with disability.
In 2019, it was reported that 3 out of 5 persons with disabilities faced issues in using public transport.
Nearly 50% of the persons living with disability faced issues in accessing public buildings.
The shocker fact is that as high as 71% of these disabled persons were born without any disability, thus stating the reality of locomotor disability in the state.
As per the NSS study, 8% of the people have no proclivity to treat the disability illness.
The solution to this issue lies in working towards reviving the health policy to prevent such locomotive disabilities.
Besides, the educated populace in persons with disabilities stands at only 13.8%.
This is a direct hit to their job prospects and career options.
Apart from this, data are showing the stressful condition in which they are living.
In the state, 55,000 persons with disabilities have shown to have been staying alone.
The NSS survey also says that 69% do not have access to any government aid and 28.4% do not even have disability certificates, which tells the rest of the tale.
The current crisis has raised the importance of having an inclusive plan for persons with disabilities in Odisha by including them in the decision-making process and announcing special provisions.