Leaving no one behind: the need to build an inclusive society, a society with equal access for people with disabilities

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New Delhi: The World Health Organization states that approximately 15% of the world’s population, or approximately 1 billion people, live with some form of disability. They are the largest minority in the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define disability as a condition of the body or mind that makes it harder for the person with the condition to do certain activities and interact with the world around them.

This year, as the world prepares to mark Valentine’s Day on February 14, the day of love, the Banega Swasth India team has decided to dedicate the day to a special theme – Love that makes us human. to highlight the daily trials and tribulations that people face. with disability.

Here is a fact sheet on disability in India and around the world:

  1. India’s disabled population stands at 2.68 crores or 2.2% of the population, according to the National Health Portal of India. It further indicates the division and adds:
    a. Disability prevalence is higher in rural areas at 2.24%
    b. In urban areas, the prevalence of disability is 2.17%
    vs. In India, the prevalence of disability is higher among men at 2.4% than among women at 2%.
  2. However, the World Bank states that the number of people with disabilities is much higher in the world. He estimates that in India more than 8 million people live with some form of disability, while globally around 20% of the poorest people have some form of disability.
  3. A growing body of evidence suggests that people with disabilities face barriers to accessing the health and rehabilitation services they need in many settings. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that:
    a. 200 million people worldwide need glasses or other low vision devices and do not have access to them
    b. 70 million people worldwide need a wheelchair, but only 5-15% have access to one
    vs. 360 million people worldwide have moderate to profound hearing loss and only 10% of global hearing aid needs are being met
    D. Half of people with disabilities cannot afford health care.
  4. According to report by market information company, Unearthinsight, half of the disabled population in India is employable but only 34 lakh of them have been employed in organized sector, unorganized sector, run programs by the government or are self-employed. According to the United Nations, in developing countries, 80-90% of people with disabilities of working age are unemployed.
  5. The WHO also states that people with disabilities generally have poorer health, lower levels of education, fewer economic opportunities and higher poverty rates than people without disabilities. This is due to the many obstacles they face in their daily lives and the lack of services available to them.
  6. The United Nations states that women and girls with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse. He further gives an example of a small survey in Odisha, which found that virtually all disabled women and girls were beaten at home, 25% of mentally disabled women had been raped and 6% of disabled women had been coerced into sterilization. .
  7. UNESCO claims that 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not go to school.
  8. The WHO states that although the number of children with disabilities has steadily increased with demographic trends, most health systems do not even have the capacity to meet the current needs of children with disabilities, let alone meet the growing demand.
  9. The WHO adds that people with disabilities are vulnerable to poverty, they also have worse living conditions – including poor food, poor housing, lack of access to clean water and sanitation – than people without disabilities. They may also incur additional costs for medical care, assistive devices, or personal support while facing greater barriers to employment.
  10. The WHO also states that almost everyone is likely to experience some form of disability – temporary or permanent – ​​at some point in their life. He also adds that today the number of people with disabilities is increasing dramatically and this is due to demographic changes, including the aging of the population and the global increase in chronic diseases.

Now is the time to establish a deeper dialogue around inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities around the world and to educate and raise awareness of everyone around us about the challenges faced by people with disabilities.

NDTV – Dettol has been working for a clean and healthy India since 2014 through the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is led by campaign ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the interconnectedness of humans and the environment, and of humans to each other, with a focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It emphasizes the need to care for and consider the health of everyone in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous peoples, various Indian tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically distant populations, gender and sexual minorities. As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) is reaffirmed as hand washing is one of the ways to prevent coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same topic while focusing on the importance of nutrition and health care for women and children, the fight against malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health and gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign realized the need to also take care of the health of the ecosystem. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which not only overexploits available resources, but also generates immense pollution due to the use and extraction of these resources. The imbalance has also resulted in an immense loss of biodiversity which has caused one of the greatest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity”. The campaign will continue to cover issues such as air pollution, waste management, plastic bans, manual garbage collectors and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also pursue the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign believes that only a clean Swachh or India where toilets are used and Open Defecation (ODF) status is achieved under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like Diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or a healthy India.

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