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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Overcoming Obstacles

By The Editor

Quite a number of children are born defective or become defective as they grow up due to accidents, poverty, lack of balanced diet, poor hygiene, unhealthy environment, etc. Gradually, friends and neighbours avoid and shun them considering them to be abnormal and outcastes and therefore unfit to be together. As a result, these unfortunate segments of the society feel inferior and traumatised throughout their life with no hope at all in future thus keeping aloof and hidden away from others. But scientists and researchers have found that these so-called disabled persons possess similar abilities if not more and some are highly gifted whose names remain immortal in the golden annals of history. To name but a few these are the partly-deaf and famous inventor Thomas Alva Edison, polio victim and crippled Franklin Delano Roosevelt the 32nd President of the United States (US), illustrious blind and deaf Helen Keller and mathematical genius Stephen Hawking who died recently. Ella E, Dodson said, “Obstacles are the muscles of achievement”.

According to Disabilities Act, 1995 the Government of India recognises people with disabilities and extends equal opportunities to them while at the same time protecting their rights. As per the Act, 3 per cent of posts in Groups C and D are reserved for disabled persons and which have subsequently been also extended to Groups A and B posts. The Act provides for access to education, vocational training and employment. The law protects disabled persons from exploitation and inhuman treatment and hence they are to be treated with respect like all others. Besides, differently-abled are also entitled to rehabilitation either in medicine or psychological restoration. In this connection, government seeks intervention of non-government organisations (NGOs) too in order to be effective and have full coverage for which they receive generous financial assistance from Centre. For those appearing in central service examinations, number of attempts has been increased from present four to seven and additional relaxation of 10 years in upper age limit will continue. Special medical board has been set up to cater to needs of physically challenged in all fairness.

Ferdinand Lyngdoh Marshillong local Khasi youth who has hearing impairment has been invited to visit the US for the three-week “International Visitor Leadership Programme” as part of an endeavor towards people with disability which will be held from March 20 to April 7. The three-week programme entitled “Everyone Count Capacity Building in the People with Disabilities (PwDs) Community” will explore policies to address specific challenges for PwDs resulting from climate changes, pandemics, or other barriers to full integration in society with special relevance to US in the field of education, healthcare, employment, and political representation. Participants will examine new and ongoing research and strategies technologies as well as legal implication including social norms. The US Department of State will bear the cost of Marshillong’s round-trip economy class international travel and provide him with necessary allowance for full duration of the programme.

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