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Studies have shown that people with cataracts were poorer than controls in terms of assets, self-rated wealth and monthly expenditure than controls with normal vision (Hannah Kuper and Sarah Polack, ICEH/LSHTM)
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National consultation on inclusion of persons with disabilities in development processes

National consultation on inclusion of persons with disabilities
© CBM India
Seated from left to right: Dr. Sara Varughese, Regional Director, CBM South Asia Regional Office; Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO-South-East Asia Region and Ms Poonum Natarajan, Chairperson, National Trust.

On 12th February 2014, CBM India in collaboration with United Nations Solution Exchange (UNSE) for Gender Community organized a 'National Consultation on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Development Processes' at the World Health Organization (WHO), Regional office for South-East Asia in New Delhi. Around 85 delegates attended the consultation

National consultation on inclusion of persons with disabilities in development processes

The consultation was organized to present and discuss the findings of the project initiated in August 2013 to form an Action Group on persons with disability and the work undertaken by them, in the form of three knowledge products:
  1. A collection of Central and State schemes for the benefit of persons with disabilities in India;
  2. Review of 1o flagships programmes of Government of India  from  the perspectives of persons with disabilities; and
  3. A compendium of case studies of individuals challenged with different forms of disability, illustrating how they have faced their challenges.
On the occasion, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO-South-East Asia Region released the digital version (CD) of the knowledge documents developed by the Action Group for persons with disabilities, which will indeed be useful information for practitioners and policy makers. The consultation was attended by about 25 senior level government representatives and 55 representatives of some of the key networks, organisations and experts working in the disability sector in India.

Panel Discussion

Panel discussion ©CBM India
The consultation was attended by about 25 senior level government representatives and 55 representatives of some of the key networks, organisaitons and experts working in the disability sector in India
The event also hosted a high level panel discussion on Inclusion of persons with disabilities in development processes. This was chaired by Ms.Sarada Muraleedharan, Former COO of National Rural Livelihood Mission, Government of India and the panelists were Dr.Sara Varughese, Mr.T.D.Dhariyal, Ms.Poonam Natarajan, Mr.Sameer Ghosh, and Ms.Madhu Singhal.  The panelists and the delegates discussed the existing government schemes and recorded recommendations expressed by the delegates. State government officials shared information about special schemes the government had commissioned for persons with disabilities in their respective states. The panel discussion concluded with a recommendatory session chaired by Ms. Stuti Kacker, IAS Secretary (DD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.

Conclusions

The National consultation provided a great opportunity for experts, organizations, and agencies working for people with disability to appreciate the government projects and schemes and express ways and means to increase the reach and accessibility of these schemes. Government officials requested CBM and UNSE to consolidate the outcome and present a document for further action. Soon the action group for person with disabilities will publish and submit the report to the Government of India and respective state governments.

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