According to Census 2011, over 26 million people are victims of disability in India. Of them, over 2 million are children and 71% of these children are from rural areas. If you look at disability around the globe, about 1 billion people (15% of the world’s population) are suffering from one or the other kind of disability.
These numbers are likely to grow simply because disability cannot be put to a stop. There are various branches of disabilities that root to multiple reasons. In such a scenario, it becomes important for every nation to deliver the right opportunities for the disabled section. A few years ago, United Nations produced a report on out-of-school children that said ‘34% of disabled children are out of school.’ Reason: lack of services made available for them.
Disability, by no means, underestimates a person’s participation in a particular field. It is a condition that affects the person’s functionality. However, this can be solved by reworking on the environment. The gap between non-disabled people and the disabled must be bridged with support and care. For example, ensuring schools are fitted with wheel chairs and platforms for disabled are an advantage. There are many more aspects too such as — sign interpreters, audio aids, healthcare facilities, etc. Additionally, creating a framework to ensure the disabled are treated with equality helps us build a better nation.
The basic understanding of disability has changed over the years and there are less reports of discrimination; thanks to all the movements and opportunities through which people with disability could voice their opinions and demand for rights. International Day of People with Disability is marked on December 3rd to raise awareness and to create opportunities for disabled. Akshaya Patra, an NGO in India, feeds millions of children on every school day and many children we cater to are disabled (only the degree differs).
Akshaya Patra’s Role for the Disabled
Many children in government schools in India live with a disability. Akshaya Patra, an NGO that feeds underserved children with mid-day meals seeks to ensure children get equal opportunities so that they flourish with education. You can read the stories of Akshaya Patra beneficiaries (who are disabled) here.
The Foundation promises to build a sustainable programme to encourage children to attend school. One meal a day is not just to curb the hunger but to also ensure they receive their daily dose of nutrition. Mid-day meal benefits over 1.6 million children with freshly-cooked meals and this can be continued only with your support. On World Disabled Day, choose to make a donation in honor of someone. Let us ensure that 34% of disabled children who are out of school are inside the classroom.