DISABILITY IS NO HINDRANCE TO DEVELOPMENT

Author: Dr. Jaswant Singh Puri, Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa), Social Activist, Punjab Rattan, Member, Dewan Family, Erstwhile Princely State of Patiala (Author of the article ‘Royal City of Patiala – A Gapshap’)

India

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Chandigarh, December 14, 2022:
Dr. Jaswant Singh Puri

The disabled should not be a barrier to a person’s progress. Some persons may suffer from sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, mental illness but it has been in our knowledge and observance that some disabled persons have excelled in many fields like literature, music, arts, sports etc. Disabled persons just need a push, some inspiration, a dose of courage, an acceleration to their dormant will power to show their skill. Blind, deaf and handicapped persons have proved to be surpassing in the field of music, various games, sports, arts, and so on. So persons with disablities should not be excluded and left behind.

It is also one of the agendas of 2030 to leave no one behind” for sustainable development. Though it is celebrated on 3rd December annualy but all the days should focus on the success of the disabled. A virtual meeting will be held in New York (09:00 am to 12:00 pm (New York Times) on 5 December, 2022 to commemorate the World Disability Day which is also known as International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the theme of innovation and transformative solutions for inclusive development in employment, reducing inequality and development.

Keeping it in view, the 2022 global observance on the persons with disabilities will revolve around the theme of innovation and transformative solutions for the development. Antonio Guterres full name Antonio Manuel de Olivera Guterres of the U.N.O. states: “The cornertone of this cooperation must be active participation of persons with disabilities in their full diversity, and their full inclusion in all decision making processes.” It is a United Nations Day to raise awareness for the persons with disabilities in various aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life.

World Health Organisation (W.H.O) also supports United Nations to observe this day to affirm and secure the rights of people with disabilities. It is estimated that more than one billion people experience disability and this figure is predicted to go up due to population and age-related diseases. The day is celebrated every year by virtue of the proclamation by the United Nations in 1992 as decided by General Assembly Resolution. UNESCO also shares support for persons with disabilities around the world. Various Organisations and Governments are doing efforts that persons with disabilities do not lag behind and consequently varying degrees of success has been archieved due to emphasis on equalisation of opportunities.

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To go ahead with progress, the theme for 2022 is: “Transformative solutions for inclusive development, the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and Page 3 of 5 equitable world.” To propagate the Disability Day, discussion forums and campaigns are held to create a feeling of well-being. This is archievable by breaking barriers for an inclusive society in every country. And above all, their achievements and contributions should be celebrated to boost them so that they no longer remain dependent. Disabled persons in the world have been successful in various fields. They have won name and fame. Stephen Hawking suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) who was one of the most famous scientists, made important breakthroughs about the functioning of the universe. He was a British Nationalist who was born in 1942 and died in 2018.

Dr. Ajit Singh Puri, M.D. D.Sc (Honoris Causa) FICP, FCAI, FICA has written a world acclaimed book “How to Prevent Common Diseases” printed and published by Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. contains very Page 4 of 5 valuable guidelines about ‘Poliomyelitis’. The book has a Foreword by Lord Walton of Detchant, TD, MA, MD D.Sc, FRCP, Former Professor of Neurology and Dean of Medicine, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Former President of British Medical Associaiton, Royal Society of Medicine and General Medical Council; Former President World Federatin of Neurology. The disease is caused by “an infection, inflammation of the grey matter of the spinal cord (Polios, grey + myelos, marrow + itis, inflammation), causing paralysis of the muscles of the body, especially of the limbs. The disease “can be prevented by vaccination”. “The poliovirus is an enterovirus i.e. the virus proliferates in the intestine (enteron, intestine) of the patient concerned.”

“Vaccination is the key to the preventation of poliomyelitis.” “Early mobility/physiotherapy is the most important part of the treatment to avoid contractures”. (Excerpts from Dr. Ajit Singh Puri’s book “How to Prevent Common Diseases). Helen Keller was an American, a deaf and blind who became the first graduate with deaf-blindness in the world . Her autobiographical book “The Story of My Life” is a classic work in English literature. She was born in 1880 and left this world in 1968. Franklin D.Roosevelt (1882-1945) was a victim of polio who got elected as the 32nd President of the United States.

Sudha Chandran, an Indian actress and classical dancer, born in Kerala had an amputated foot and became a known figure in the Indian television. She can be an inspiration to many disabled persons. Ravinder Jain, born visually impaired was one of the notable Music Directors of the 1970s. We feel proud of Girish Sharma who lost his leg in train accident but rose to be a badminton champion. Shekar Naik became T-20 Blind Cricket World Champion and had 32 centuries to his credit. Arunima Sinha was the first amputee to climb the Mount Everest. These names are just a tip of the iceberg. The lives of these disabled persons imbibe a feeling that the government, private organisations, W.H.O. and U.N.O. should do everything for the disabled persons who can become famous personalities to shine the names of their nations.

They need a little bit of inspiration and ignite a spark within them for their fondness. Let the disabled persons be encouraged by all of us with a feeling of equality and respect.The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was also adopted whose aim is to work in creating equal opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 came into force on 19th April, 2017. The Act provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities. Note: This article is dedicated to Smt. Alka Puri, M.A. (Hindi, B.Ed.) who was the secretary, Ladies Club, Punjabi University, Patiala during the tenure of Vice Chancellor Dr. S.S. Johal awarded with Padma Bhushan in 2004. Smt. Alka Puri was the wife of Dr. Ajit Singh Puri and mother of Journalist Dr. Jaswant Singh Puri.

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