Just as we enter December we jump into party mood, after all the year gonna end in a month. But there are people who aren’t rewarded a life to party by default. Dec 3rd is a day dedicated to those people (by UN) and is widely revered as International Day for People with Disabilities. The tradition commenced in 1992 to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well being of people with disabilities so as they can work and excel in every fields ranging from politics, economy, culture and social uplift as well.
This all started in the year of 1976, when United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) officially declared 1981 to be the International Year For Disabled People. The motive was to plan for national, international and regional integration to promote equal opportunity, rehabilitation and prevention to the disabled. The primary doctrine established was “full participation and equality”, defined as the right of persons with disabilities to take part fully in the life and social events, enjoy living conditions equal to those of other citizens, and have an equal share in improved conditions resulting from socio-economic development. The General Assembly then declared 1983–1992 as the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons so as the governments and organisations can have ample time to implement what is thought of. Since 1992, every year has different theme targeting different issues.
Various themes over the years
Every year a different theme is chosen based on the different issues related to them. Below are the themes from the previous years:
• 1998: “Arts, Culture and Independent Living”
• 1999: “Accessibility for all for the new Millennium”
• 2000: “Making information technologies work for all”
• 2001: “Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome”
• 2002: “Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods”
• 2003: “A Voice of our Own”
• 2004: “Nothing About Us Without Us”
• 2005: “Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development”
• 2006: “E-Accessibility”
• 2007: “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities”
• 2008: “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us”
• 2009: “Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world”
• 2010: “Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond”
• 2011: “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development”
• 2012: “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”
• 2013: “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”
• 2014: “Sustainable development: The promise of technology”
Change in life of people with disabilities is not so humongous even after 23 long years but the efforts are eventually showing their results. They are able to get acceptance in society and they are actively participating in all aspects of life.
Having said that, the government or the UN alone can’t bring colossal change in the lives of disabled. It comes down to we – the people to make this happen. The disabled or crippled don’t need to be treated as special but all they desire is we consider them as one of us. On this auspicious day, let us pledge to help disabled people to have normal life like us and enjoy all privileges opened to us with love and respect which they truly deserve. Everyone is important for complete development, if anyone misses out, it is always incomplete and incomplete is never the success dreamed of.