'Special care for the disabled must'

PATNA: Former governor of Tripura and Chhattisgarh D N Sahay said that the disabled, who should be appropriately called physically challenged and differently abled to give them due honour and dignity, need to have special care and attention of the society to develop them as productive citizens and secure their due acceptance in the mainstream.

Inaugurating a three-day meet on "Rehab-2011" sponsored by Rehabilitation Council of India on Monday, he further said that physically challenged persons have right to equal opportunity to develop their latent talent and skills. Only when this is recognised that inclusive social justice and social development would truly be achieved.

Facilities for differently abled at heritage sites

NEW DELHI: The differently abled people have a reason to cheer as the Centre has approved a grant of Rs.5 crore to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to make five of its World Heritage Sites — the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri (all in Agra Circle, Uttar Pradesh); Sun Temple at Konark (Bhubaneswar Circle in Orissa) and Jami Masjid Champaner-Pavgadh (Vadodara Circle in Gujarat) — and 25 other ticketed monuments accessible to persons with disabilities.

The funds released by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry will be used to make access pathways, ramps, toilets, tactile maps, Braille signage, and modifications in ticket counters.

Aarti Dhar

Differently-abled writes with leg to teach students

Rangapukuria: Shobha Majumdar is not an ordinary teacher of the only primary school at remote Rangapukuria village in North Dinajpur district. She writes with her leg to elucidate a point to her students.

A differently abled person since her birth, Shobha has obtained her post-graduate degree in history followed by a diploma in computer and finally a job in the primary school at Rangapukuria village in the Raiganj block.

With the chalk clasped firmly between her toes, Shobha in her mid-20s moves the leg swiftly on the blackboard kept on the floor and teaches her students.

"Everybody writes with his or her hands. My hands are non-functional. So I write with my leg," she says talking to PTI at her school.

Sobha said her mother Shanti Majumder encouraged her all along to practice writing with her leg.

"Initially, I had faced problem getting admission in school as a student with the authorities thinking I will not be able to continue my studies this way. However, they relented later," she says.

Born into a very poor family, Shobha was given free tuition by her teachers till she passed the board examinations. She then cleared BA and MA in History from North Bengal University.

Apart from teaching in the school, Shobha also helps in the household chores like cutting vegetables with her leg.

Her parents are all very proud of their daughter. "Shobha has realised what we had earlier thought impossible. She has a job," her mother says proudly.

District Magistrate Sunil Dandapat said the district administration would felicitate Shobha for what she has done.


Differently abled demand right to contest polls

CHENNAI: Members of the Tamil Nadu Association for the Welfare of the Differently Abled demanded the right to contest polls to Assembly, parliament and local bodiest. They went on a differently abled rights awareness campaign that was flagged off in the city on Sunday by member of Parliament Kanimozhi.
The members listed 17 demands, including right to be part of State and central politics, besides three percent reservation during nomination of candidates for elections.
“We also want three percent reservation in the Rajya Sabha. We have submitted our demands to Kanimozhi MP,” said K Gopinath, State president, TNAFWDA.
The members also demanded easy access to public buildings such as banks, schools, hospitals by constructing side rails, ramps, lifts and special toilets. They want differently abled people to be appointed in the committee that assesses the quality of aids and appliances given to the disabled.
“We have been finding it tough to get licences for three-wheelers (two-wheelers) and four-wheelers. We want the right to get licences sooner and easier. Besides non-discrimination, we want the right to get job to be made a fundamental right for us and right to sue and help get punishment for those who portray differently abled people in a bad light,” said Gopinath.
Mayor M Subramanian and Anna University Vice-Chancellor Mannar Jawahar were present during the rally.

More sops for differently-abled

Feb 28, CHENNAI: A recent GO issued by the Tamil Nadu government has now extended the conveyance allowance offered to differently-abled government employees to such employees in public sector units too. The extension is an addition done to an earlier GO released in October 2010, where the government had increased the conveyance allowance from Rs 300 to Rs 1,000.

However, this is only applicable for those PSUs whose payscales match that of government organisations. D Ponnusamy, general secretary for the Differently Abled Government Service Employees Welfare Organisation said, "Earlier, only a few public sector units chose to give conveyance allowance for differently abled. But after the allowance was increased to Rs 1,000, many differently abled welfare organisation approached the chief minister and requested that it be extended to public sector too."

Love lights up the day for special kids

NAGPUR: Celebrating love took myriad forms on the occasion of Valentine's Day. It on an entirely different hue at St Ursula high school grounds on Monday as a sea of differently abled children was soaked in the spirit of sportsmanship.

To make the day more special for the most special children, Rotary Club of Nagpur arranged a sports carnival for them. With a huge participation of around 600 children from 42 schools from in and around the city, the event did manage to fulfill its aim of spreading love, surpassing physical and mental disabilities.

The races and the games were modified to allow the children to participate and perform. Along with shot put, a similar game with a soft ball was arranged for smaller children. Competitions like spot jumping, race on wheelchair and a race allowing the use of crutches also formed a part of the event. Across different categories, more than hundred sporting events took place. The arrangements were made to be as user-friendly as possible. Even the directions for the various games and other instructions were directed towards the teachers.

"At most such sporting meets, some typical events are organized. The arrangements, too, are not as good as they are here, with some packaged food given away for the sake of it. Never have I been to an event of this magnitude with so many special children around. The students are periodically being served juices, sherbets, fruits. Though most of these children are unable to express themselves, I can say by the look on their faces how happy they are," said Prashant Palkandwar, a special educator from Sant Vittukbaba Mentally Retarded Girls' and Boys' School, who came with his students from Takalghat for the event.

One such face was that of 8-year-old Zeba. Lit up completely even while recounting the events of the day, this little girl from Rashtramata Manovikas Akshaya Kendra, spoke of the fun she had while playing soft-ball and running around. It was touching to see the Rotarians serving food and drinks, clearing tables, picking up the soiled plates and even cleaning the tables all by themselves while serving batch after batch of children and teachers.

"Credit must also be given to participating schools and Zilla Parishad, who took pains to bring the students here from far away places in the city early in the morning. Despite difficulties faced by them and us, the fact that the children are so happy is enough to say we have succeeded in our endeavour," said Manish Bhati of Rotary Club.