Ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is observed on December 3, the Association of People with Disability (APD) organised a full-day awareness drive to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society at one of Bangalore's most prominent public spots, the Lalbagh Botanical Garden. This was a part of the organisation's larger #RightToBeSeen initiative, which brings to light the right of every Person with Disability to an inclusive world, thereby giving them the opportunity to lead a full, productive, and independent life.
Dr. Rajalakshmi, an orthodontist and winner of Miss Wheelchair India 2014 as well as Miss Wheelchair World Popularity 2017, with other wheelchair users Anusha and Ramya at the event
The event consisted of a thought-provoking artistic installation by renowned artist and sculptor Shafeeque Punathil, featuring real disability aids such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, and crutches. The installation illustrated how society views PwDs, focusing only on their disability without acknowledging the person behind it.
The event also featured softboards with simple yes or no questions in English, Kannada, and Braille, making people reassess how much they think about disability on a day to day basis. Questions such as "Do you have any colleagues or classmates with a disability" and "Does your workplace have a ramp for wheelchair access" saw large numbers of people answering in the negative, proving the urgent need for more action oriented solutions. It is only when we start thinking about what is missing that we can begin reimagining how wonderful our spaces can truly be. With hundreds of visitors across ages stopping by, the event was a resounding success.
Talking about the event, Senthil NS Kumar, CEO, The Association of People with Disability (APD), shared, "Organising such an interactive event gave us an opportunity to not only promote accessibility awareness around public spaces but also sensitise the public on disability issues and build an ecosystem of equality. Our shared goal of reinforcing the #RightToBeSeen for every person with a disability to live an independent and respectful life remains a top priority. We were pleased to see the number of people who rethought their perceptions on disability and demonstrated a desire to seek immediate action oriented alternatives.The event was a roaring success, and in future we hope to organise more such accessibility awareness activities to reach out to more people."
To build further awareness around the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, APD is organising a local walkathon to build awareness among Bangalore residents, apart from a garden sale, where people can buy plants that have been grown by gardeners with disabilities. The garden fair is being inaugurated by Brigadier Shalabh Gupta, Commandant MEG & Centre.
About The Association of People with Disability (APD)
APD is a pioneering non-profit organisation, established in 1959 by the Late MS. N. S. Hema. APD has impacted over 6 lakh People with Disability from underprivileged communities from remote, rural, and poor socioeconomic backgrounds. Various programs by APD cover 18 out of 21 disabilities stated in the RPWD Act 2016. With a diverse and inclusive team of over 230 members (45% Women and 30% PwDs), APD reaches out to over 60,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries, annually. APD is managed by a professional team of developmental and technical experts overseen by an eminent Board of Governors and Trustees. The Association maintains the highest standards of governance, has been acknowledged by multiple donors and is accredited by independent agencies like the TISS, Credibility Alliance, RCI, and NIPMAN Foundation.
To learn more, please visit www.apd-india.org.