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Shouting down the barriers together

Government official talking to the participants
© CBM India
Mr. T.D. Dhariyal - Dy. Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, explaining functions of various government departments to DPO members.

52 members of disability person’s organisations (DPO) from 9 states gathered from May 27 to 29, 2014 to find solutions for the issues faced. The meeting was organised by CBM India in collaboration with PGSS to empower persons with disabilities through DPO’s. Apart from NGO leaders, a senior government official and a media specialist facilitated the meetings.

Viklang Jan Sabha

The air was full of promise, and the gathering did not disappoint. As equal players in the Viklang Jan Sabha (Persons with disability people meet) organised by Purvanchal Gramin Seva Samiti (PGSS) in collaboration with CBM at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, persons with disabilities went through an array of emotions within a span of three days. From a cautious, unsure lot, they went home as confident torchbearers of the disability movement. 

In the meeting, DPO leaders described their triumphs and losses in running a DPO and participants’  joined hands in analysing, critiquing and questioning various styles of working. The participants discussed challenges such as: non sensitised government officials, non-cooperative DPO members, non-issuance of entitlements like concessional bus passes, barrier-free access and irregular visits of special teachers and more.

Advocacy with government official

The meeting facilitated a face to face interaction with Mr. T D Dhariyal, the Deputy Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities, Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. They vociferously demanded equal rights and sought assistance on various issues ranging from entitlements under MGNREGA, Indira Awas Yojna to concessional bus pass, barrier-free train travel, revocation of rules against leprosy, access to bank loans, supply of essential medicines and access to quality education. Mr. Dhariyal gave feasible suggestions that could be easily carried out, and he informed the audience about effective redressal mechanisms. He also promised to take up particular matters with concerned government departments to ensure the benefits of the government schemes reach the needy.

Skills to interact with media

Media could play a key role getting attention of relevant stakeholders by voicing the concerns and views of persons with disabilities. Mr. Manu Moudgil, a freelance development journalist, explained how to communicate and build relationships with journalists. The session also discussed how to portray an issue, collect support information, collate cause studies and make presentations.

National forum for persons with disabilities

A significant achievement of the meeting was consensus on the formation of a national-level forum of persons with disabilities that can influence policy making at Centre and state levels. The proposed forum would have elected representatives of each DPO as member of the national committee. The partner organisations will hold advisory, not functionary roles under the guidance of CBM.
Thumbnail for video "Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals" Thumbnail for video "Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals"

Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals

The highlights of T20 World Cup for the blind finals held at Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru, India

Disability is not a personal issue

“I have never been out of my village and always thought disability was my personal issue. However, now, having come to this gathering, I have realised its enormity” 
said Mr. Digeshwer Sahu.


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