Disabled stage mass protest at India GateDecember 3rd, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Over 10,000 people with various disabilities assembled at the India Gate in the centre of the capital Wednesday for a night-long vigil and silent protest to demand, among other things, a separate ministry for disability affairs.Delhi-based Disabled Rights Group (DRG) organised the protest on the World Disability Day (Dec 3) initially to draw attention of the government authorities to the plight of the disabled.
“The event was not for celebrations but to demand for a separate ministry for disability affairs and fulfillment of promises in the 11th five year plan - that every ministry should have a clear cut plan of action on disability issues and each ministry should allocate three percent of resources on the same,” Javed Abidi, convenor DRG, told IANS.
Voicing the sentiments of the hundreds of deaf and mute, visually impaired, autistic, physically challenged individuals that had gathered, he said: “We, the 70 million disabled people of India, just want to be equal partners to be able to work, to be self reliant, to be able to serve our nation, to be able to contribute its economy, become tax payers and not to be a burden society.”
The participants also lit candles of ‘hope’ in light of the recent terror strikes in Mumbai.