Department of Disability Affairs Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India
THEME OF THE TABLEAUX: INCLUSION, ACCESSIBILITY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND EMPOWERMENT
Rabindranath Tagore has rightly said, “The problem is not how to wipe out the differences but how to unite with the differences intact”.
According to Census 2001, there were 2.19 crore persons with disabilities in India constituting 2.13% of the population. Physical and mental impairments result in disability. Attitudinal and environmental barriers hinder full and effective participation of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others in society. Disability can be mitigated by changing our perception and by creating a more conducive environment.
The Republic Day tableaux 2013, of the newly set up Department of Disability Affairs, of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, portrays persons with disabilities as equal citizens of the nation enjoying all fundamental rights and freedoms in an inclusive society.
The tableau showcases inclusion through a live cultural program, led by a DPO (Disabled Persons Organisation), Disabled Power Group. The group is an inclusive group which includes persons with disabilities and non disabled persons, performing to a song carrying a message of solidarity, celebration and dreams. A sculpture on the side of the tableaux depicts inclusion in creative arts. Inclusion as citizens is represented through a picture of a woman holding different identity cards symbolizing equality between all. The tableaux carries the message that the needs of persons with disabilities are the same as other citizens, which has been represented by portraying the symbols of various sectors like health, education, sports, recreation, religion, financial services on a revolving Rubik's Cube.
Accessibility is a key to opening doors and pathways. Physical accessibility is showcased on the tableaux, through a ramp allowing wheel chair users to perform freely. A sign language interpreter (Angel Singha) is seen translating the song on the tableau which depicts accessibility incommunication, which will also be screened on the LED screens on the sides of the trailer.Accessible communication is also depicted on the semi-circular sides of the trailer wherein the words from the Constitution of India, “Equality” “Fraternity”, “Justice” and “Liberty” have been written in Braille and Sign Language. At the bottom of the trailer is a runner of disability signs and symbols, which increase accessibility of information in the public information systems.
Empowerment is symbolically represented through all the above depictions and concretized in the sculpture of persons with disabilities and others holding each other and moving forward, with the National Flag in the centre. Mural paintings depicting contributions of people with disabilities cover the sides of the tableau.