Addressing the gathering on Sunday, the President said the future of the country depends on ensuring all citizens have the capacity to realise their full potential. 'To achieve this goal, we have to create a sensitive and harmonious society, where every person feels empowered – and a society of empathy, where one person feels the pain of another.'
Mr Kovind, 'Our Constitution guarantees equality, freedom, justice and dignity to all citizens, including the Divyang. The Government has enacted laws for the empowerment, inclusion and mainstreaming of differently-abled persons. No Divyang person should be evaluated by his or her physical ability, but by his or her intellect, knowledge and courage.'
The President congratulated the award winners and said he was optimistic they would inspire other differently-abled persons to strive to reach new heights. He also expressed confidence that citizens of the country will build an inclusive 'New India', with an appropriate and sensitive approach to 'our Divyang fellow Indians'.
The National Awards was presented in 14 main categories including Best Employers, Best Placement Officer or Agency, Best Individual, Best Institution working for the Cause of Persons with Disabilities, Role Model, Best District in Providing Rehabilitation Services, Outstanding Creative Adult Persons with Disabilities, Best Creative Child with Disabilities and Best “Accessible” Website.
To give focussed attention to the schemes and programmes for empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, a new Department under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment came into existence during the year 2012. Since then, a number of new schemes and programmes for the empowerment of persons with disabilities have been added. On the other hand, the financial outlay for the department is also going up every year.
According to Census 2011, there are 2.68 crore people with disabilities in the country who exhibit great diversity in terms of quantum of disability as well as types of disabilities. (UNI)