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PwDs’ access to every field must be ensured

Published : 03 Dec 2021 09:56 PM | Updated : 04 Dec 2021 03:27 PM

Speakers at a virtual show have said that the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) can’t integrate them into the mainstream of society despite their wishes due to the lack of inclusion and accessibility.

The PwDs now face multiple challenges following the Covid-19 situation. However, access to the Persons with Disabilities must be ensured in every field, especially health, education and employment, in order to build a sustainable and inclusive world. 

Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust arranged the virtual show on Thursday (December 2) on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. 

Debra Efroymson, regional director of HealthBridge Foundation of Canada; Mahua Paul, co-founder of Access Bangladesh Foundation; Gaous Pearee, director at WBB Trust; Md Mithun, assistant project officer of WBB Trust; and Shafiqul Alam, assistant teacher at Dogair Government Primary School; spoke on the occasion, among others. 

Debra Efroymson said that everyone is not interested about the people with disabilities. Many PwDs lost their jobs even during the Covid-19 situation. Against this backdrop, the people with disabilities are facing more problems. Appropriate steps should be taken by the state to improve their living standard at all levels of society. 

Mahua Paul said that a study found that the rate of retaliation against women with disabilities increased by 20% during the Covid-19 period. Attitude needs to be changed in order to end the kind of violence. Awareness and necessary preventive measures by the government can play a vital role in preventing such violence. 

In her speech, Gaous Pearee said that the issue of accessibility of the Persons with Disabilities in every field, including travel infrastructure and public housing, must be given priority in planning. For this reason, there is no alternative to sincerity in implementing the ‘Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2013’ from the policy making level. The PwDs can never be excluded from the mainstream for achieving the SDGs, she added. 

Shafiqul Alam said that the educational status of the PwDs in our society is very fragile. Although the attitude towards their education has changed due to awareness, many people still have different attitudes towards the PwDs. 

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) was observed in the country and across the world on December 3. 

The theme for IDPD this year was ‘Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post Covid-19 world.’

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