The Indian Constitution stipulates the State to ensure equality, freedom, justice and dignity of all individuals which implies an inclusive society for all, including persons with disabilities, said President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.
Presenting the National Awards for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities on the occasion of International Day of Disabled Persons here, Mr. Mukherjee said education can equip persons with disabilities to face the world.
Calling for the mainstreaming of the persons with disabilities to help them realise their full developmental potentiality, Mr. Mukherjee said: “Persons with disabilities face several barriers as a result of which they are unable to have equal access to various services in society including education, employment, health care, transportation and at times, justice. However, it is seen that when persons with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life on an equal basis with others, the nation and society as a whole are benefited. Therefore, the barriers faced by persons with disabilities which are detrimental to societal growth need to be removed.”
A multi-faceted approach and a multiple collaborative effort can help persons with disabilities to realise their full individual potential and make them active participants in the development process, he said.
Partnering with the private sector
“The Central and State governments must effectively partner with the private sector and civil society in their endeavour to create an inclusive society,” he said.
Urging the private sector to do its bit for the empowerment of persons with disabilities, Mr. Mukherjee said focus should also be on prevention of disabilities.
“Greater awareness and a proactive approach are required in this regard. Preventive measures like early detection and timely intervention can reduce the incidence of disabilities particularly in children in the 0 to 6 age group. Measures such as immunisation at the right age, disease prevention, improvement of hygiene, better nutrition, better access to health care, maternal and neonatal care need to be taken in right earnest,” he said.