Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Empowering Persons with Disabilities

Today is going to be observed as Inter Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD) around the world. The day was first proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly in 1992 and since then the day is being observed every year with a certain theme. This year, the theme of the day is ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’. The theme emphasizes that people with disabilities must be empowered for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It is really imperative that a society must ensure that all its residents get their due rights. And these rights must be ensured without any sort of discrimination as all the members of the society stand equal as far as justice and fair play are concerned. In particular, the rights of the special people – the people suffering from different sorts of disabilities, must also be ascertained through proper policies and actions by the relevant authorities.
The underdeveloped and the developing countries, in particular, need to give proper attention towards the disabled as such countries face many other problems to tackle with; therefore, they are not capable of giving time and attention to them. Moreover, in such countries the opportunities and proper arrangements are not there that can help the disabled to fight with the harsh challenges of life and be the part of normal lives. Afghanistan is one of the similar types of countries where the opportunities are limited for the disabled.
Some NGOs on certain occasions made some efforts in this regard. They have provided fund and support to uplift their standard of living. Such efforts, if followed and monitored with determination, consistency and honest intentions will definitely support the disabled to live normal life and become productive citizens of the society. In addition, positive attitude of the society can assist the disabled in developing optimistic approach towards life and bring prosperity and development not only to themselves but to the country, as well.
Nevertheless, it must not be forgotten that the negative attitude of the people towards the disabled may discourage them to a large extent. Unluckily, it can be observed in our country that both the government and the people do not treat them properly. Although Afghanistan has signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, concrete steps are not taken yet in that regard. According to the convention people with disabilities must be given all the opportunities of having proper treatment and the feasibilities to live their daily lives normally. Unfortunately, the government of Afghanistan has been suffering on both the fronts. The medical facilities for the disabled are in no way sufficient. Hospitals and care centers for them are not enough, while the existing ones suffer seriously from the lack of modern equipments. The methods of treatment are obsolete. The compensations or improvements that can be made in their lives are not realized appropriately and they go unchecked. Furthermore, the endeavors of government to support them in their daily lives need to be invigorated and they should be supported voluminously.
However, it should be noted that the financial compensation alone is not enough to support their families. At present, the disabled people receive about 500 Afghanis a month from the government, which seems negligible, keeping in mind the rising inflation. It should be noted that more important than the compensation is the job opportunities and vocational training. That will support the disabled people in standing on their own and live a life of self-esteem and reverence. They cannot keep on depending on the favor of the government indefinitely - if the government feels sympathy they should get their share, if not they will stay underprivileged.
Another important issue in this regard is the response of the fellow citizens towards the people with disabilities. Instead of assisting them out, most of the people further torture them by their discriminatory and even abusive attitude. There are many instances when such people are socially neglected. Since, they are not able to do the things in the way the other people do, they are considered weird and even called with various inapt titles.
The families with economic hardships and other difficulties curse their children with disabilities and treat them as burden on the family. Many of them are forced to go for begging; in addition, it is hard to find people who readily get into any type of relation with the disabled people. In particular, the females who are with disabilities do not get proper chances of getting married. They remain neglected throughout most part of their lives and suffer from severe kind of social isolation. It is really imperative to understand the difficulties faced by the people with disabilities; whether the disabled are so naturally or as the aftermath of disasters or wars, they should be treated appropriately.
The government has to make sure that they receive all the facilities for their treatment and modern facilities are available for them free of cost, and they get feasibilities that may support them in living their daily lives about normally. On the other hand there should be marked changes in the attitude through which the fellow citizens treat the disabled people; in particular, they should be considered equal human beings.