VP calls for efforts to empower differently-abled people

: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Saturday said eliminating discriminatory tendencies should be the first step in empowering differently-abled people.

Speaking at a cultural programme organised by Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) here, Naidu said nobody has any right to ill-treat or discriminate against anybody, particularly persons with disabilities.

"It should be the collective responsibility of the society, people and institutions to support Divyangjan and empower them to lead a dignified life," the vice-president said according to an official release.

Although the Union government and various state governments have been systematically addressing grievances faced by differently-abled people, there is a need to create greater awareness among all sections of society on the need to prevent any form of discrimination and provide necessary support to enable them lead a life of dignity and respect, he said.

"As a society, we need to ensure that no stigma is attached to disability and learn to recognise the valuable human assets we have in people with special needs. It is the duty of the fortunate to take care of the less fortune. In my opinion it is the basic duty of human being to be sensitive to the needs of the fellow human being," Naidu observed.

The Vice President further said it is also important to enhance the mobility of persons with disabilities and create barrier-free environment wherever needed, particularly in public places.

"I would also like the private sector to collaborate with the government in developing barrier-free environment and earmark a part of their CSR funds for this activity--be it in the physical infrastructure, transportation sector or the ICT ecosystem," Naidu added.

Apart from promoting sports among persons with disabilities, they also need to be encouraged to take part in various cultural and social activities, he said.

"It is heartening that the government has also launched a National Action Plan for Skill Development to impart skill training to 25 lakh people with disabilities by 2022, to enhance their employability. I would also urge the private sector to create adequate employment opportunities for persons with disabilities," Naidu said.

As a humanitarian organisation, Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti, a Jaipur-based non-profit organisation knows no frontiers, he said adding it has been rendering services for the welfare of persons with disabilities all over the world.

"I am told it has so far rehabilitated over 1.55 million persons with disabilities by providing artificial limbs, calipers and other aids and appliances free of charge," he added.

The Vice President also watched a dance recital by famed danseuse and actress Sudha Chandran.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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