Seminar discusses rights of PwDs, stigma and inclusion
Prodigals’ home, Dimapur, director K. Ela on Friday, stated that there were very limited services available in Nagaland for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) “as we live in a bubble of abled world”.
K. Ela was speaking at the national seminar on “rights of differently abled women in North East India”, organised by department of History and Political Science of Immanuel college and supported by National Commission for Women in the college conference hall.
In her keynote address, she pointed out that parents and teachers have never taught us that the PwDs have rights entitled in the constitution and that we have never been taught how to talk with them or befriend them.
Lamenting that PwDs were discriminated and stigmatised in schools and society, Ela said there were not many PwDs in colleges because they dropped out of school and one of the main reasons was because of the discrimination that they faced.
‘Need to check how far reservation for PwDs is implemented’
Deputy commissioner (DC) Dimapur Sachin Jaiswal pointed out that 4% reservation reserved for PwDs in Nagaland should be checked on how far it was implemented.
He said lack of education for people with disability was a concern and a matter of neglect as they were not given the opportunity to venture out by their family because of shame and stigma.
Stating that the mentality of society has to go through a paradigm change, DC lamented that despite Nagaland being a strong knit community, it was the same as the rest, since the issue of disability was not being addressed.
Sharing that he did not consider DC office as PwD friendly, Jaiswal said it had no facilities or services for them although there were provisions for offices to be made PwD friendly.
“In Nagaland which is mostly rough terrain, there is hardly any services friendly for them and there are lots of infrastructure, psychological gap and many do not possess disability certificate, which will ensure them of the entitled schemes”, DC stated.
‘Violence against women with disabilities surrounded by silence’
Although the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) has declared Nagaland as “safest” state for women with only 67 incidences of crime against women, violence against women with disabilities has been an issue surrounded by silence, assistant professor, department of History, Imjungla Imchen stated.
Despite significant number of disabled women in Naga society, Imjungla said they were ignored, neglected, hidden and their rights were unrecognised.
Delivering a presentation on “violence against women with disabilities in Nagaland”, she challenged the gathering by saying that it was time that people listen to the voices of PwDs, to raise more awareness and amp up efforts to create long lasting change for women who have been left behind.
Presenting a talk on “right to employment concerning with disabilities women with special reference to Nagaland”, Khrutalu Dozo and Bendang Jamir informed that as per Nagaland population 2011, the state’s population was 1.9 million, out of which 29, 677 (1.5%) of the population had one or other kind of disability.
On the rights of employment, Bendang Jamir said according to the census of Nagaland state government employee published by the directorate of Economics & Statistics 2011, there were 4,26, 765 female workers and that 17.09% of the total male workers were working for the government while 4.83% female workers were working for the government. He highlighted the Rights of employment for people with disabilities and difficulties they faced in private and public spheres, and barriers in accessing employment.
At the technical session “right to education and women with disabilities” was presented by Loli Athisii and “human rights, women with disabilities and its right entitlements” was presented by Sangto Longchar.
Meanwhile, topic on “evaluation of policies pertaining to the rights and protection of women with disabilities” was presented by Ashe Kiba and “elderly women with disabilities and well-being” was presented by Karilemla Longchar.
The seminar also included questionnaire hour.