Achieving the Millennium Development Goals of ensuring health, education, livelihood, social development, and empowerment for all, will not be considered to be complete if all these are not ensured for those living with disabilities, M.N.G. Mani, Founder-President and Managing Trustee, UDIS Forum, said here on Friday.
Speaking at the two-day training of trainers' workshop for faculty of Master of Social Work course regarding disability management at Bharathiar University, he said it would be a farce to say that India had achieved the goals of education for all, health for all, livelihood for all and empowerment for all by 2015, because the disability component was not included.
“Countries all over the world are under compulsion to achieve something by 2015 with regard to the Millennium Development Goals. India is also in a similar position,” Mr. Mani said.
Pointing out that though there were many schemes and assistance measures available for those with disability, he said that the main challenge was in making the differently-abled aware of those schemes to enable them get it.
In Coimbatore, there were nearly 10,000 school and college student volunteers oriented towards disability management.
With places like Coimbatore as an example where 580 persons with disability were employed in the private sector, India would have something to show to the world by 2015, he added.
T.K. Ponnusamy, Commissioner, Coimbatore Corporation, said that a child was born with disability because of no fault of his. So, it was essential to make them people of ability.
“There is a separate Government Department for the differently-abled. The government provides grants to the tune of many crores to be used for the welfare of the differently-abled through this department,” he said.
He urged those undergoing training to help the differently-abled to be aware of all the schemes and assistance available to them.
This was very important to elevate them to the status of normality which meant real empowerment.
C. Swaminathan, Vice-Chancellor of Bharathiar University, said that though there were many Acts enacted at various periods for the differently-abled, the implementation of these Acts had not been done in the right manner to benefit the beneficiaries.
A. Sethuramasubbiah, Head, Department of Social Work, spoke.