Expressing pragmatic solidarity with the differently-abled
Expressing pragmatic solidarity with the differently-abled and celebrating the diversity requires collaborative efforts at administrative and societal levels
Post by REYAZ AHMAD MIR on Wednesday, December 6, 2023
In contemplating the state of social security for marginalized communities, particularly the elderly, widows, orphans, and persons with disabilities in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, it becomes evident that successive regimes couldn't prioritize their well-being. The meager monthly financial assistance for disabled individuals, coupled with a cumbersome application process, reflects either ignorance or apathy on the part of the people at the helm, contradicting the principles of a modern welfare state.
The scope for social security measures is immense, given the rising number of dependents due to casualties and disabilities. Establishing institution such as the Regional Composite Centre for differently-abled people particularly for young ones is insufficient without creating the facilities and fully modernized schools to realize the impressive provisions incorporated in NEP-2020 for special education to address the peculiar challenges being faced by these individuals at every stage of life.
The lack of scientific and practical consideration for differently-abled students in educational institutions, inadequacies in infrastructure planning, and the absence of special provisions in the traffic system at all levels contribute to the persistent difficulties encountered by this vulnerable group. Public institutions, including banks, government and private offices, and hospitals, exhibit a similar disregard for the visually or physically impaired, creating a need for legal obligations to prioritize their needs and establish social justice.
The nominal financial assistance provided monthly fails to meet the minimum needs of these individuals amidst rising inflation. Unlike regular employees who benefit from frequent dearness allowance hikes, the marginalized section remains overlooked. Collective efforts at both the government and societal levels are imperative to address these issues comprehensively, transcending mere financial assistance.
In addition to government initiatives, there is a notable absence of widespread social efforts to support these individuals. Despite being part of a society with religious obligations like 'Zakaat' and 'Ushur' for the welfare of the underprivileged, charitable activities are not widely observed. This raises questions about our societal commitment to fulfilling these obligations and challenges the dichotomy of claiming righteousness while overlooking the plight of the less privileged.
Expressing pragmatic solidarity with the differently-abled and celebrating the diversity requires collaborative efforts at administrative and societal levels. Adopting a comprehensive approach to address the challenges faced by the disadvantaged will not only fulfill legal obligations but also align with the principles of justice and compassion in our society.
(Author is a regular columnist of Rising Kashmir and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org)