brand logo

Enabling the disabled

02 Dec 2021

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls today (3), in a context where the United Nations (UN) has identified that people with disabilities, who constitute around one billion of the world population, is one of the hardest-hit and most excluded communities as far as fatalities are concerned. How we view disability has a great deal to do with how we include persons with disabilities in the larger society, which ultimately affects the level of contribution we get and receive from them to build society and the country. Sri Lanka still views disabilities as a tragic condition only a few of us face, and considers those who do not have a visible disability luckier than others. Also, these ill-informed attitudes have led to a lack of inclusion and acceptance for and discrimination towards people living with disabilities. An attitudinal change, which can lead to bigger developments than laws and policies can do, is necessary. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka is still stuck in the traditional notion that a disability is always physical and can happen to only a few people of the population, even though the world has moved on to identify mental disabilities as a form of disability which any person can experience in any stage of their lives. One of the major issues faced by people with disabilities, i.e. those living with disabilities relating to movement, is access to public places. Even though certain places, especially businesses such as supermarkets and banks, have taken the initiative to ensure convenient access for people with disabilities, the majority of such places do not have any such facility. In this regard, however, the Supreme Court (SC), in a verdict delivered with regard to a fundamental rights (FR) petition filed by activist for the rights of people with disabilities Ajith Perera held that all authorities that are empowered to approve building plans or issue certificates of conformity for public buildings should refrain from approving any new buildings which were in violation of accessibility-related laws and regulations. The SC also stressed that non-compliance of such would be tantamount to a violation of the FRs of equality before the law, and also the equal protection of the law and the freedom of movement. Another thing that was noted by the SC was that state institutions are obliged to ensure for citizens with disabilities or restricted ability every opportunity to integrate with the community with no restrictions. However, the petitioner had to seek the court’s assistance again, because the verdict was not put into action as directed. The lack of progressive attitudes towards people living with disabilities, among others, is one of the major reasons. Even today, despite other countries having made it a priority to ensure that new buildings are disability-friendly, Sri Lanka has a lot of public places, especially businesses, that do not see the importance of making those places more physical disability-friendly, despite having the monetary resources to do so, which is a result of the lack of willingness. This also shows a major lack of adherence to policies and laws. What is more saddening is, this issue is not limited to public places. People with disabilities are excluded, sometimes directly, and sometimes by the widespread notion that they cannot be productive members of society without special, disability-friendly opportunities, when it comes to education, healthcare, employment, and economic activities, and the UN has acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities including disabilities. As mentioned, discrimination against and the lack of acceptance of people with disabilities mostly stems from ignorance, and it calls for awareness-raising among the people with a focus on acknowledging that disability is not limited to physical disabilities and that discrimination against any form of disability is not acceptable. In addition to the social security authorities, there is a massive responsibility on the part of individuals and families as well, because what law and policies can do in this regard is very limited.

Kapruka

Discover Kapruka, the leading online shopping platform in Sri Lanka, where you can conveniently send Gifts and Flowers to your loved ones for any event. Explore a wide range of popular Shopping Categories on Kapruka, including Toys, Groceries, Electronics, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Automobile, Mother and Baby Products, Clothing, and Fashion. Additionally, Kapruka offers unique online services like Money Remittance, Astrology, Medicine Delivery, and access to over 700 Top Brands. Also If you’re interested in selling with Kapruka, Partner Central by Kapruka is the best solution to start with. Moreover, through Kapruka Global Shop, you can also enjoy the convenience of purchasing products from renowned platforms like Amazon and eBay and have them delivered to Sri Lanka.Send love straight to their heart this Valentine's with our thoughtful gifts!

Discover Kapruka, the leading online shopping platform in Sri Lanka, where you can conveniently send Gifts and Flowers to your loved ones for any event. Explore a wide range of popular Shopping Categories on Kapruka, including Toys, Groceries, Electronics, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Automobile, Mother and Baby Products, Clothing, and Fashion. Additionally, Kapruka offers unique online services like Money Remittance, Astrology, Medicine Delivery, and access to over 700 Top Brands. Also If you’re interested in selling with Kapruka, Partner Central by Kapruka is the best solution to start with. Moreover, through Kapruka Global Shop, you can also enjoy the convenience of purchasing products from renowned platforms like Amazon and eBay and have them delivered to Sri Lanka.Send love straight to their heart this Valentine's with our thoughtful gifts!


More News..