06-OCT-2018: Dr Jagdish Chandra delivers lecture on 'Globalisation and Disability Rights Movement'
Aligarh, October 6: Dr Jagdish Chandra (Assistant Professor, Hindu College, University of Delhi) today delivered a moving lecture on 'Globalisation and Disability Rights Movement' in which he discussed the disability rights movements all over the world and how people with physical disabilities still encounter discrimination and exclusion on daily basis. The lecture was organised under the UGC sponsored DRS-II programme by the Department of Sociology, Aligarh Muslim University.
"We have reached a point, where everybody needs to collaborate for the creation of an inclusive society to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities are realized from the local and national, to regional and global levels," said Dr Chandra, while delivering the lecture at the Arts Faculty Lounge.
He pointed out that the evolution of the disability rights movement in India spans over four decades. "Voices began demanding the rights of people suffering from disabilities in the early 1970s; it was, however, nowhere close to being a movement at that point," said Dr Chandra adding that what started as scattered demands for rights for people suffering from disability has today developed into an issue area that is the subject of many academic works.
"It is a sorry state that still many people in our country consider people with physical disabilities as outcasts and to put it bluntly, most disabled people are seen as beggars or people who cannot survive without the help of others," he said.
He further pointed out that the society needs to ponder on why disabled people are seen as liability and of little or no use to society and why their concerns are severely disregarded?
Recounting his own experiences, Dr Chandra said that people often thought that I was blind because of some sins that I have committed and this absurdity leads to various forms of injustices faced by people with disabilities.
He further said that coming to Aligarh Muslim University is an emotional moment for him as this is the alma mater of his friend and inspiration, late Mr Javed Abidi, who was the voice of India's disability rights movement and who traversed the world on a wheelchair, advocating the rights of the disabled.
"As the battle against entrenched and widespread attitudes in society towards people with disabilities continues, let us not forget how Mr Abidi touched the lives of masses of disabled persons and pushed for a more disabled-friendly environment in the country," said Dr Chandra.
Prof Tasadduq Hussain, a retired faculty member of AMU's Department of Philosophy said, "Even though education is considered a fundamental human right, and yet most blind Indians were denied access to basic education, when I was growing up," he added.
"As a visually challenged child, I was expected to become a clergy and live a life on charity in a hermit," said Prof Hussain adding that his family chose to send him to the Ahmadi School for Visually Challenged and later to AMU for higher education.
"I must say that I ended up doing a Phd because AMU had these facilities for me," he pointed out.
Prof S Zainuddin, Chairperson, Department of Sociology proposed the vote of thanks, while Prof Abdul Waheed, Coordinator, DRS-II conducted the programme.
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