|03 December 2018|
Press Release No. 760/18
CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Along with the rest of the world, Meghalaya also celebrated International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) at Yojana Bhavan Auditorium, Main Secretariat, Shillong. The theme for this year’s celebration is“Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. The celebration was graced by the presence of the Additional Chief Secretary, Shri. H Marwein as the Chief Guest and Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya, Shri. F R Kharkongor as the Guest of Honour. Also present were Smti. C Kharkongor, Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities, Dr. Melisa G Wallang, Associate Professor, NERIE, NCERT, Dr. O Lamare, Project Director & State Coordinator, State Resource Centre on Disability Affairs, Civil Hospital, Shillong, officials from the Police and other departments and students from Umjer Ksiar SSA School Mawreng, Sanmer Secondary School (SSA-RMSA) and Jyoti Sroat. On this day, the Chief Guest also launched the Meghalaya Sign Bank App, a mobile app for the benefit of persons with hearing impairment, which was conceptualised and developed by Dr. Wallang and the National Informatics Centre, Shillong. It is worth mentioning that Meghalaya received two National Awards, one for Shri Carmo Noronha, Executive Director, Bethany Society for his immense work for the cause of PwDs and Montfort Centre for Education, Tura for promoting Inclusive Education. On the day, the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour also felicitated Smti. Batimon Nongsteng, Special Booth Level Officer for PwDs of Massar Polling Station under 27-Pynursla Assembly Constituency.
In his speech as the Chief Guest, Shri. H Marwein said that the main objective of the celebration is to improve and promote issues relating to PwDs and mobilise support and create awareness on the rights of PwDs in political and social spectrum. We need to break down barriers to ensure that rights of PwDs are not violated. Discrimination towards PwDs is a crime, said Mr. Marwein and urged the people to not only see disability in a person with disability but to see the abilities in these people so that they can be empowered for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. He informed that the government has drawn various initiatives and policies to ensure access of PwDs in public properties and for creating job opportunities in government organisation. He informed that the government have created a unique identity card for PwDs so that they can draw benefits from different government schemes and grants. Shri F R Kharkongor said that the Government of India has make this year a Year of Accessible Election and it is the endeavour of the Election Department to take steps to ensure the right to franchise to PwDs. The Election Department has also accorded basic amenities for PwDS where trained volunteers are put in place to extend these facilities to them. Training is going on for volunteers on partnership with Deaf Association. He said that the Meghalaya Sign Bank App launched today will greatly benefit in the election process. He also informed that one initiative of the Election Department is the development of election materials in Braille for the benefit of PwDs.
Dr. Melisa G. Wallang also explained in detail about the functions of the Meghalaya Sign Bank App and how it will benefit the PwDs. Other highlights of the celebration were songs and dance presented by students of special schools.