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Embracing leadership of persons with disabilities

Transcript

Disasters such as Floods, Cyclones, Tsunamis and Earthquakes are on the rise causing a massive loss of life and assets. This scenario is future aggravated by human activities that are adding to these risks though the world is more aware than ever towards preparedness to save lives and assets. There is a need to recognise that disasters have worst impact on people and communities that are poor or at risk of different reasons. Various reports suggest that during 2004-14 the mortality rate of people with disabilities has been 2 to 4 times greater than the non disabled members of communities.
People with disabilities face unique or additional challenges during disasters. Some of which is related to exclusion and barriers that already exist in society. For instance, a person with hearing impairment is likely to miss out on warning announcements through audio broadcasts, similarly, the visual warnings, symbols, and sign posts that are displayed will not be accessible for a person with visual impairment and during earthquakes a person with intellectual disability will find it very stressful to cope with an unfamiliar situation in the campsite in absence of a caregiver or a family member. We need to ensure that Disaster Risk Reduction is Inclusive. This can happen only when people with disabilities are involved in all stages of disaster preparedness and response. 
People with disabilities must be meaningfully represented in disaster management committees. There is a need for data to be broken down in terms of age, gender, and disabilities for enabling policy makers and agencies to plan and respond effectively. Let's ask government and organisations to make disaster risk reduction 'Disability Inclusive." This can be done by implementing the Sendai Framework, the Dhaka Declaration on Disability and Disaster Risk Management. Through this we can ensure that no one is left behind next time a disaster strikes
www.cbmindia.org.in 

The short animation by CBM highlights the need for inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) through meaningful participation of people with disabilities and organisations at the levels of planning and implementation of DRR.

Disability Stakeholder Group, including CBM, was able to assert the need for inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) at the recently concluded AMCDRR 2016.

As the globe observed World Tsunami Awareness Day on 5th November to highlight a collective future and the need for acting together on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2016 (AMCDRR 2016) ended with a strong message and commitment to leave no one behind through an ‘all of society approach’.

The record-breaking air pollution in New Delhi, which is the venue for the conference and smog, persisted with many people seen wearing a mask.

But the air within the imposing plenary hall of Vigyan Bhawan was brimming with expectation, which gave way to optimism for the stakeholder groups who saw their hard work paying off with the drafting committee including framework and implementation level suggestions.

All of society approach

The three-day conference that was preceded by pre-events, saw an open and consultative deliberations which impacted the commitments in the outcome documents: Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 New Delhi Declaration – 2016 and Asia Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

Recognising the need to bring all stakeholders together the AMCDRR process involved various stakeholder groups for developing action statements that have been appended with the Asia Regional Plan 2015-2030.

Over 4,000 participants from 41 countries took part in the conference in sessions that were open to all participants, allowing cross-sectoral discussions, which found its way into different stakeholder action statements.

The summary sessions and speakers echoed the statement made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to embrace all of society.

Championing disability inclusion

The Disability Stakeholder Group had some anxious moments as the coalition of organisation recalled how the lack of specific mention to leadership and inclusion of persons with disabilities might lead to a setback in bringing inclusion to the centre stage.

The second day of the conference saw a technical session organised by the stakeholder group. As the session progressed, the room started filling up. The small but inspired contingent of disability organisations found renewed energy as the proceeding drew ministerial representatives and national institutions.

The ministerial representatives from Bangladesh emerged as the champions along with civil society participants from the country, when they pushed for the key priorities and commitments to be echoed in the New Delhi Declaration and the Asian Regional Plan 2015-2030. The tenacious wording and an assimilative approach by the drafting committee found its way into the outcome documents.

The SFDRR Asian Regional Plan 2015-2030 text mentions disability at six places in specific, apart from figuring in the New Delhi Declaration.
But the following mention in the text is particularly important:

“Adopting an inclusive approach – via multi-sector/stakeholder DRR platforms, both at national and local levels – is particularly important. It should embrace the leadership of persons with disability, women, children and youth and the significant contribution of the business sector.”

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Message by India’s T20 Blind Cricket Team on celebrating CBM India’s winning combination of cricket and inclusion.

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We all feel very strongly about the need of education for enabling children to find opportunities and addressing development challenges of the country


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