IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 3rd Dec 2020

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Henry S. Haskins

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020-21.

EDITORIAL HUNT #273 :“International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 | UPSC

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 | UPSC

Shashi Tharoor
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

A failure to enable

      CENTRAL THEME:

The law promises people with disabilities equality of opportunity and accessibility, but our practices deny them that.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : 3 : Social Issues : UN Observances

      MAINS QUESTION:

Disability is a part of human experiences. Due to lack of proper implementation, equal opportunities and accessibility the disabled poor have become more vulnerable in the pandemic . Comment -(GS 3)

      LEARNING: 

  • Socio-Economic development of Disabled People
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020
  • Rights and Safety
  • Way Forward

      INTRODUCTION: 

  • Shreela Flather, a British MP of Indian origin, received a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award in India a few years ago.
  • Her wheelchair-ridden husband had come all the way from England to accompany her on this special occasion — but he was unable to go up on the stage with her, because there was no ramp.

The organisers offered to lift him up to the stage but he rightly refused.

  • It burns us with shame that we could not manage this basic provision even at such a high-level occasion.
  • The situation is more or less same we see and have to endure every day in India.
  • As with Dr Flather years ago, people with disabilities want one thing from us — to make it possible for them to contribute with self-respect.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 | UPSC

CREDIT : SHUTTERSTOCK

      BODY: 

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITION :Indians with disabilities are far more likely to suffer from poor social and economic development.
  • LITERACY RATES : Shockingly, 45 per cent of this population is illiterate, making it difficult for them to build better, more fulfilled lives.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 | UPSC

SOURCES : UN.ORG | International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 | UPSC

  • WHO RECOGNITION :  A world where all people attain the highest possible standard of health and well-being is only possible if health systems are inclusive of people with disability.
  • DISCRIMINATORY ATTITUDES : People with disability have been amongst the most vulnerable populations during the current COVID-19 outbreak due to many health and social and environmental barriers.
  • BETTER SUPPORT SYSTEM : The COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to build back better our health systems so that they are more inclusive and responsive to the needs of disabled.
  • EMPOWERMENT : Countries need to shift towards a service delivery system rooted in the communities, reaching out and empowering people with disability
  • ANNUAL CELEBRATIONS : The annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities was established by the United Nations in 1992.
  • GOAL : The day is is to “promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development.
  • TOWARDS BETTER LIFE : The day also increases awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

THEME 2020

Theme for this year is ‘Building back better: towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world by, for and with persons with disabilities‘.

  • Theme is underlining the importance of fostering an inclusive culture and responding to the urgent needs of people with disability in all aspects of society, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A STARK REMAINDER

  • PERSEVERANCE : It is important we cultivate empathy of how to reach the  needs of the disabled.
  • DEVELOPING ECONOMIES TAKE THE BURDEN : About a billion people internationally live with a disability, with 80 per cent of these being residents of the developing world.
  • FIRST CONVENTION : In 2007, the UN passed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • CREATING A JUST SOCIETY : This was a landmark step toward treating disabled persons as full members of society, rather than objects of pity or charity — or, as was shamefully the norm for much of our past, fear and ridicule.
India is a state party to the convention, and the World Bank estimates that there may be well over 40 million Indians living with disabilities. 
  • POOR IMPLEMENTATION : Provisions exist in law, but getting the authorities anywhere in India to implement them is another story altogether.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act was passed in 2016 but our country is still largely devoid of ramps on its footpaths or government buildings.

  • RIGHT BASED FOCUSSED THINKING : The best that can be said is that the passage of the law may have helped shift the treatment of disabled persons in society towards rights-focused thinking.

RIGHTS AND SAFETY

  • IMPROVING BUSINESS SENTIMENTS : The state has sought to weaken this law’s protections, decriminalising acts of discrimination against persons with disabilities .
  • MISGUIDED POLICY : We cannot erode the well-being of people with disabilities, thus entrenching the dangerously negative attitudes of many in society, in the name of commerce.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 | UPSC

  • INSTALLING SELF ESTEEM : They don’t want helpful strangers to lift them onto a stage, or into an office or a restaurant.They want us to install the ramps that will permit them to accede to these places themselves.
  • PROMISING FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS : The law promises them equality of opportunity and accessibility. Our practices deny them what the law promises.
  • MOVIES ARE NOT ENOUGH : Mainstream media has increasingly started showing positive representations of people with disabilities, from Taare Zameen Par to Barfi.
  • REACHED THE ZENITH : Athletes with disabilities have reached the pinnacles of sport and done us proud repeatedly, most recently winning four athletics medals at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
  • AWFUL TREATMENT : That doesn’t mean we can overlook the appalling treatment that people with disabilities have long received, and continue to receive, in India.
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION : This is compounded by the community’s lack of political representation.

Despite the vast population of people with disabilities in India, in our seven decades of independence we have had just four parliamentarians and six state assembly members who suffer from visible disabilities.

  • DEFAMATORY REMARKS : This is hardly a surprise when considering that, unfortunately, several political leaders have even used discriminatory language and derogatory comments to talk about people with disabilities.
  • ATTITUDINAL CHANGES : This lack of representation, and these general attitudes, translate directly into policy that undermines the well-being of people with disabilities.

EXAMPLE
The state inexplicably decided to depart from convention and render people suffering from cerebral palsy ineligible for the Indian Foreign Service.

  • The above example suggests that persons with disabilities are unable to serve their country with loyalty, devotion, and strength.
  • Finally to any Indian who wishes to see their fellow citizens treated equally, regardless of physical condition.

MENTAL HEALTHCARE ACT

  • EMOTIONAL WELLBEING :  It’s not only about ramps for wheelchairs, text-to-speech facilities for the visually challenged or sign language explanations for the deaf.
  • COMPASSION AND AFFINITY : Some of the most debilitating disabilities are those that are not apparent to the naked eye.
  • MENTAL HEALTHCARE : In 2017, the Mental Healthcare Act recognised and respected the agency of persons with mental-health conditions.

This expanded the presence of mental-health establishments across the country, restricted the harmful use of electroshock therapy.

  • OBLIGATIONS ON STATE : It clarified the mental-health responsibilities of state agencies such as the police, and effectively decriminalised attempted suicide.

      IASbhai Windup: 

  • FRESH STEPS : Building on the extraordinary work of civil society activists like Mithu Alur and Javed Abidi, India has made some progress in the right direction.
  • A SUCCESSFUL SCHEME : The state has had some admirable initiatives to improve the lot of Indians with disabilities, such as the ADIP scheme for improving access to disability aids.

The Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, or Accessible India Campaign, has aimed to make public transport, buildings and websites more accessible. 

  • LACK OF IMPLEMENTATION : But as is too often the case with this government, between rhetoric and reality there falls the long shadow of poor implementation.
  • HALF HEARTED CAMPAIGNS : Unfortunately, the Accessible India Campaign has largely remained half-done since the scheme’s inception in 2015.
  • JOINT EFFORTS : It is critical that the New Delhi works with civil society and individuals with disabilities to craft an India where everyone feels welcome and treated with respect, regardless of their disabilities.

Disability is part of the human experience.

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 | UPSC

 

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