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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Celebrations and the other side of the coin
Yet, here we were once again – celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), purportedly to create awareness about the rights and entitlements of persons with special needs and heighten concern for the cause and affirmative action. But, was it so? It is the question that keeps on bothering the hardcore the rights activists.

Throughout the urban nation, various special schools organized rallies; signature campaigns; special events such as art and painting competitions, fun games, poetry recitation competition, cultural programmes with selfi-points, simulations, special meals for children with disabilities; fund raising, get together meets, charity, mutual back-scratching, visits by brand ambassadors, celeb visits, musical evening, gift exchanges, and many more.  Such activities have become ritualistic and band-wagon rides, remarked a social worker and child rights activist in Jaipur in a bid to show the other side of the coin.

Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality, which were mandated by the event was not seen and show off of the events and grandeur became the focus, he said adding that when asked from the celebrants on the sidelines of the events about the number of disabilities recognised in India and provisions made by examination boards for certification, none could give the right answer.

Earlier, the CBSE had informed various affiliated schools through a circular, "Exemptions/Concessions extended to Persons with Benchmark Disabilities for Class X & XII Examinations conducted by the CBSE and Standard Operating Procedure CBSE being sensitive to the needs of disabled students is extending several exemptions/concessions to candidates with disabilities as defined in The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act- 2016 and Guidelines for conducting written examination for persons with benchmark disabilities 2018 issued by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment as per Office Memorandum dated 29th August, 2018."

The CBSE lamented, "It was observed that neither the schools nor the students are aware about these exemptions and are also not following correct way of seeking available exemptions during their course of studies and examinations. It was therefore decided to update and compile all exemptions/concessions so that stakeholders are aware about the same and are included."

So, who needs 'awareness raising', the celebrants or the general public, he wondered. Everyone seemed to be angling for 'visibility' and 'media attention' that was selectively choosing people and sponsors of the events for the 'bites' as promoters of the cause, he said while signing off.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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