World Disability Day, 2008

Location: India Gate, New Delhi    Projects: Accessibility Awareness Activities: Dharna

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World Disability Day, 2008

On Wednesday afternoon at 3pm we organized a massive rally of around 5000 disabled people. People from all over India got together at India Gate to demonstrate their strength and solidarity. The get together was a peaceful one and we also lit candles to mark our solidarity with the Mumbai attacks heroes and victims.

Apart from our host Mr. Zorin Singha (President, NAD), we had a wide array of speakers who had all gathered together for a common cause and that was the implementation of the 11th Five Year Plan where certain demands of ours were addressed unlike the other plans. Last year we thought was a momentous year as not only did our country ratify the UN Convention but also a distinct chapter was included in the 11th Five year plan on disability, but unfortunately no further action has been taken. All promises remain on paper only, its time we woke up the government to take some action, be it -

- Creating a separate Ministry for the disabled.
- 3% allocation of funds for disabled in every Ministry.
- To make Sign Language Indian as one of the official languages of our country
- To appoint interpreters in various ministries.
- Implementation of the UNCRPD, to name a few.

We had cultural programmes put up like songs, mime plays, dance etc. to entertain all the attendees. The talented Ms. Benzi sang beautifully two patriotic songs. We also had a troop who came all the way from Hyderabad to perform for us.

Our representatives comprising of Mr. Javed Abidi, Mr.Arun.C.Rao, Mr.Zorin Singha, had gone to visit the Hon'ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, to place our demands in front of him but were unable to do so as he was not in town. but that did not dampen our spirits, as this rally was a great success. It provided an opportunity for all to meet and interact with each other. They were able to share with each other their problems and experiences. Also Mr. Sanjay Mitra , Joint Secretary of disability in PMO promised us that he shall brief Hon'ble Prime Minister about our demands and that some action will be surely taken .We shall all pray that things fall in place this time.

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