Jaipur, September 01, 2010

Persons with Disabilities (PWD) are more worried about social exclusion and impairments from family and society, than their physical disability, said Mr. Prasanna Pincha, Special Rapporteur, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi, while speaking in the state level consultation on ‘Mainstreaming Disability in Development’ organised by CUTS International in partnership with Sight Savers in which 50 representatives from CSOs, educational institutes and media from various districts of Rajasthan participated. The main objective of the consultation was to sensitize and build the capacity of the participants on the issue and selecting the governmental and nongovernmental organizations to work with them on the issue.

He further spoke about the key provisions of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and illustrated that the treaty has revolutionized the development paradigm and initiatives for disabled people, and highlighted 3-fold significance of the treaty.

The consultation marked the beginning of new project ‘Mainstreaming Disability in Development’ which CUTS will be implementing in partnership with Sightsavers, along with selected governmental and nongovernmental organisations in Rajasthan.

Ketan Kothari, Programme Officer, Sightsavers Mumbai said the issue of disability is still not in the priority of Government and Civil Society. He mentioned that people with disabilities are not organized and homogenous and they are very thinly sporadic and segregated on several lines. So politicians do not consider them as a consolidated vote bank.

George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International in his introductory remarks said, the debate on mainstreaming disability in development gained a momentum as a result of adoption of UNCPRD, one of core international human rights instruments, which came to force from May 3, 2008. He emphasized on the need of involvement of major Civil Society Organisations who are working in the development sector to take up the issue of mainstreaming disability in the state.

Prabhat Sinha, Programme Manager, Sightsavers talked by linking the issue of Disability and MDGs and said that the goals of MDGs can not be achieved unless this most marginalized section of people with disabilities are properly taken care, empowered and mainstreamed. He also talked about the relationship of disability and poverty in brief.

Ajay Singh Deputy Director, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of Rajasthan spoke about the future plans of the Government and said that soon state government is going to roll out a survey to map all the disabled people of state and provide unique identification number and certification to ensure the benefits meant for them

Nikita Srivastava, Project In-charge welcome all the participants, facilitated the proceedings, and thanked all for their active participation and giving consent for working with CUTS in the project.