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International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed every year on 3 December. It aims to promote an understanding of emotion, feeling, and situation of person with disability. It also invites people to mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities.
Secretary-General António Guterres in his message urged the countries to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
I urge all countries to fully implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, increase accessibility, and dismantle legal, social, economic and other barriers with the active involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations.
In addition to observance for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, there are many other days which are similar and thematic to the cause. On 4 January, World Braille Day is observed. World Down Syndrome Day is observed on 21 March. On 2 April, World Autism Day is observed. on 23 September, International Day of Sign Languages is observed while another similar event — Human Rights Day is observed on 10 December.
Recognising the need of person with disability, the Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu emphasized the need to build an inclusive society that is sensitive to the needs of differently abled persons. He elaborated that people with special needs require empathy and not sympathy.
Theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021
It aims to promote an understanding of emotion, feeling, and situation of person with disability. It also invites people to mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. The theme for IDPD this year is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.” The theme this year 2020 was “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”.
Quick facts about Persons with Disabilities
Here are quick facts about about persons with disabilities as estimated by UN:
- Of the one billion population of persons with disabilities, 80% live in developing countries.
- An estimated 46% of older people aged 60 years and over are people with disabilities.
- One in every five women is likely to experience disability in her life, while one in every ten children is a child with a disability.
- Persons with disabilities in the world are among the hardest hit by COVID-19.
- Person with disability is at higher risk of contracting to COVID-19. They are also more prone to severe symptoms.
History of International Day of Persons with Disabilities
In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Day of Disabled Persons. Among its goals is the promotion of the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all areas of society and development, as well as the increase of awareness of the plight of persons with disabilities in all facets of government, social, economic, and cultural life.