Nearly 60 children from across the state participated and discussed about their issues. The Assembly for children with disabilities was conducted in partnership with other NGOs like NPDO, PARA and LCD in the state, working with children with disabilities.
The three-day programme saw the enthusiastic participation of children in various discussions and debates, expressing their views.
The assembly, which is the first of its kind, gave the civil society a chance to listen to the voices of the children on basic issues like accessibility, education and health. “So far, the collective voice of children with disabilities has not been taken to the national level. We also aim to form state-level networks for children with disabilities and bring them together at a National level on the International Day of Persons with Disability on December 3rd,” said Jacob Devabaktulu, Advisor, Disability Initiatives, World Vision India.
Though there are many provisions for inclusion in the programmes and policies of the Government, it doesn’t reach the children. This forum gave an opportunity to discuss about the Right to Education Act, the Persons with Disability Act, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other such provisions.
At the end of the event, the children pulled together a charter of demands on their rights and presented it to the government officials represented by the department for the welfare of the disabled.
“This assembly provided children with disabilities a platform to raise their concerns and make it heard. Our role is to amplify their voice so that it is heard by the policy and decision makers at highest levels”, said Reni Jacob, Director - Advocacy, World Vision India
Mr. Sudarhan, Department of Welfare of the Disabled and Senior Citizens, briefed about the schemes of the Government for people with disabilities in the State.
A state level Committee was formed with children with disabilities from all NGOs and World Vision.