Say Yes to Access this International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Bangalore, December 4, 2023: On Sunday, December 3rd, the Association of People with Disability (APD) hosted a special event at Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Cubbon Park, from 10 am to 1 pm on account of International Day for People with Disabilities. The event was part of the organization’s larger ‘Yes to Access’ project, an initiative dedicated to creating a more accessible world for People with Disabilities (PwDs). As part of the project, a poignant Pledge was crafted to amplify awareness and support for an inclusive world.

Recognizing the profound impact of accessibility on people with disabilities – unlocking doors to education, employment, equal opportunities, and a barrier-free world – the event featured an array of performances showcasing the incredible talents of APD’s beneficiaries, students from Shradhanjali Integrated School, an inclusive school run by the organization, and dedicated staff. From captivating art displays to mesmerizing wheelchair dance performances, the event was a testament to the resilience and creativity of the disability community.

Distinguished guests graced the occasion, with Dr. Chethana Thirthahalli, Lead, Health, at HCL Foundation, serving as the Chief Guest. National Award-winning actor and former Member of Legislative Council (MLC), Tara, and Writer and Director, Gururaj Kulkarni Nadagouda also graced the occasion in a show of support.

Dr. Chethana emphasized the importance of collaborative action to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for persons with disabilities, underscoring the need for a united effort to create a more accessible and inclusive society.

Talking about the importance of accessibility, she mentioned, “Optimizing the health and well-being of people with disabilities is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Because the experience of disability is universal across the lifespan and impacts all areas of human life, disability is relevant to the implementation of all SDGs. It is inspiring to see the extent to which organizations of persons with disabilities are driving forward to involve people with disability in various ways.”

Dr Senthil NS Kumar, CEO, The Association of People with Disability (APD), shared, “India is home to a remarkable 22 crore people with disabilities (PwDs), yet their visibility does not align with this significant number. This invisibility is the reason why PwDs are often not a consideration when public and private infrastructure are planned. And, they are invisible because they currently lack access to these same public and private spaces to participate in a full and dignified life. Providing them access to a more inclusive and barrier-free environment could enhance their visibility and lead to better recognition of their needs.”

In her address about the programme, Ms Tara, former MLC said these children are like Gods. I salute the teachers for the patience with which they impart education to these children. Primary Education is far more bigger than the Ph.D. because it is in the lowest rung of education a strong foundation is laid for a bright future. This is the most appropriate and unique program for the children.