Your disability is not your identity, you are much more than that. Whenever you lack the inspiration to live your life well, look around and you will always find inspiration.
Every year, December 3 is celebrated as World Disabled Day or International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) which aims to empower people with disabilities, focus on their issues and create an inclusive environment for them so that they can live with dignity.
On this occasion, Life Beyond Numbers got in touch with Dr. M. A. Hasan Sahani, founder of Institute for the Handicapped and Backward People (IHBP), who believes, “The government and the general public needs to be more pro-active and responsible towards the differently abled people, adopt them and treat them as their own. Only then we can create a positive shift in society.”
Today, IHBP organized a rally from Behala, where about 300 differently abled students of the Special School for the Disabled participated along with their parents, teachers, and staffs. While some walked, others were on wheel-chairs holding placards, banners to sensitize people about how to make public spaces more accessible for specially-abled individuals.
Started in 2001, IHBP is Sahani’s brainchild and now he works with 7 committee members and has 2000 beneficiaries to ensure a barrier-free environment for the specially abled people. Even though the organization particularly focuses in and around West Bengal but they have teamed up with other organizations to function effectively.
“It is important to integrate disabled persons in the mainstream of society, promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. The NGO aims to sensitize people about integrating them into our society,” he says.
“All government offices, educational institutions, office spaces should become disabled friendly, have ramps, be barrier-free. Making it easily accessible for them will their life much more convenient,” he added. Apart from the rally, an event was also organized where the students participated in music and dance. Mr. Pradip Kumar Barui, Former Asst. Director, Directorate of Social Welfare Department of WB shared his thoughts about the significance of the day and interacted with the students.
Apart from that, Sahani strongly voiced his concern that all the recommendation of Disability Act 2016 should be implemented at the earliest.
This NGO is working in the field of disability is doing their sincere bit in promoting and providing education, training, and rehabilitation to the differently able and trying our best in bringing them to mainstream and make a difference.
Their actions speak louder than words and so should ours. We all have a social responsibility and we should try to fulfill it in the best possible manner. In Helen Keller’s words- “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”