Thursday, 5 November 2015

An Effort I admire

Today(November5,2015;Thursday), I chaired a session on  Draft Policy on Employment and employability  of the Persons with Disabilities in Rai Umanath Bali Auditorium Hall,Kaisar Bagh ,Lucknow.It was organised by   Sparc India, a small NGO run by Amitabh Mehrotra and  his other associates , for the welfare and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
                  When I entered the Jai Shankar Prasad Hall , I found three groups of   young boys and girls , discussing various aspects of proposed policy for enhancing the employability and employment of  persons with disabilities.Then the three groups made  brief presentations, each  on five different aspects of the subject in hand.
                   The whole experience was very touching and inspiring.Amitabh himself has  some disability  related to cerebral palsy.But this dedicated  band of young persons under his leadership  came up with ideas and  suggestions about what the proposed policy should contain .What impressed me most was their honesty of purpose and a strong hope that some of their recommendations will be accepted by  state government of Uttar Pradesh and   government of India.Hovering between my cynicism in the political establishment  and the faith  and hope of this youth , I gave them ,(what I thought,)helpful suggestions.That a good policy must be evidence-based, it should have a connect with reality,it should be politically acceptable,it needs advocacy, lobbying , persuasion  and involvement of all stakeholders.But still ,this experience  brought home to me the power of pure and  innocent  efforts  by   ordinary citizens to give voice and articulation to the  millions of voiceless  persons with disabilities , in Uttar Pradesh and India.I hope ,that state government of Uttar Pradesh and government of India  will soon  make some  good and implementable  policy to increase the  share  of  persons with disabilities in employment from present 1% to 3%(as needed   by the share of their  population)  Well done ,Amitabh.