In India, like in many countries, disability carries a social stigma. But now a new campaign, ‘Badhate Kadam’, organized by the National Trust, an autonomous body under the social justice and empowerment ministry, hopes to fight this stigma and urges people to answer a question on disability in the 2011 census. The census question asks, if a member of one’s family has any problem in seeing, hearing, speech, movement, has mental retardation, mental illness or multiple disability?
The campaign, which includes posters translated into the many regional languages and even a theme song, will be rolled out in eight fairs over a two week period. There will be a team of six volunteers, including a disabled person, who will organize the fairs which will include discussions, cultural programs and other related events. The campaign will also aim to raise awareness on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
According to NGO estimates, there are approximately 60 million people who have a disability, in India. The benefit of this campaign should be tremendous.
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