The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) in New Delhi today (December 3, 2016) on the occasion of International Day of Disabled Persons.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said employment is a vital factor in economic empowerment of persons with disabilities. Vacancies have been reserved for such applicants in Government Ministries and establishments. Government’s National Action Plan for Skill Development will cover 25 lakh persons with disabilities by 2022 to enhance their employability. He called upon both the public as well as private sector to be active partners in this endeavour.
The President said the “Accessible India” campaign is a good step in creating barrier-free access to public buildings and public transportation. Similarly, information and communication technology has contributed in many ways to improving the daily lives of the disabled. This supplements the Government’s efforts in distribution of modern aids and devices. Such initiatives not only encourage beneficiaries and strengthen their morale but also create a positive awareness.
The President said the value of early detection and effective intervention cannot be emphasised enough. A number of simple precautionary steps can prevent the illnesses and chronic conditions that can cause disabilities - particularly among susceptible age groups. Immunization, disease prevention, better hygiene, sanitation and nutrition, comprehensive maternal and neonatal care are areas where we should apply ourselves with vigour. Our media can play a major role in creating awareness and projecting positive stories in this respect.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment as well as Shri Ramdas Athawale and Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Ministers of State for Social Justice and Empowerment.