Rajinder Johar on Asar with Aamir
According to WHO 10% of the world population has some kind of disability. That amounts to over 10crore (that is over 100 million) people with disabilities (PWD) in India. But, unfortunately we immensely lack the resources to meet the specific needs of this huge segment of our society. The two thousand odd government and non-government organizations working in disability sector, across the country, are simply unable to meet the challenge of handling them.
First of all the most common myth prevalent that PWDs cannot work efficiently because of their disability and therefore should not be hired has to be broken.
When we see around, hundreds of PWDs are found working in almost every profession including the four pillars of democracy- legislature, executive, judiciary and media. They have even conquered Mount Everest wearing prosthesis. You name any career and they are there occupying significant positions.
All they need is an opportunity to prove themselves. Hollow lip service and pity of any kind for PWDs is strictly TABOO. Only a handful well-off families are able to arrange rehabilitation procedures for their disabled member. But what about 90 percent of uneducated, poor, unskilled disabled people, who also, need to support themselves and their dependents.
Society being a one big family, the onus of welfare of PWDs lies with it. Corporates, banks and many other agencies and individuals are seen adopting villages, slums and low income habitations for their upliftment. Similarly, if one individual, household or agency has a will and means to adopt a disabled person and help him/ her become a worthwhile unit of society, they must come forward and do so.
As a meagre effort on its part, FOD has launched a few beneficial programmes for PWDs which are exclusive to the organization. Apna Rozgaar Scheme (ARS) for socio-economic rehabilitation, creating awareness about various aspects of different disabilities through its quarterly magazine "The Voice", providing a platform to artists with disabilities to showcase their talent and work. This is just not enough, much much more needs to be done
Various programmes currently being run by FOD are supported by sensitive, caring and concerned citizens and also by philanthropists.
In the interest of disabled fraternity FOD intents to continue introducing new schemes/projects as it has been doing in the past. To make it possible FOD needs further support from benevolent people from all quarters of society.
The parameter of any civilized/cultured society is judged by the amount of care they give to their less fortunate and less privileged brethren. If they seek help there is nothing wrong but if they are ignored and neglected then certainly it is.