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Nagaland Churches not doing enough for disability sector: Diethono Nakhro


DIMAPUR, MARCH 10: Nagaland State Commissioner of Person with Disabilities (PwDs), Diethono Nakhro called upon the church to take effective role in creating awareness about disability and change the attitude and perceptions of people towards people with disability.
Speaking as special guest at the Sesquicentennial celebration programme for the “Differently-abled persons”, organized by ABAM at Aoyimti Bapist Church, Nakhro said Church can do better in their role for disability. “I do believe that church can do, but they are not doing enough”, she said adding, “Church is central to all of us. It has so much influence… it can change attitudes and perceptions.”
Stating that church can become role model for the wider society, Nakhro lamented that churches in Nagaland are not doing enough for the disability sector. She disclosed that the NBCC had set up a ‘disability committee’ long back but “we have not heard much about it.”
“When we talk about disability inclusive in church, it is not about creating different class or separate ministry”, she clarified.
She suggested that some youngsters can be sponsored by the church to learn sign language, which will encourage deaf people.
She said inclusive education is the norm now and it has already been announced in Nagaland, but the authorities don’t know what inclusive education is.
Explaining further, she said inclusive education means bringing both disabled and non-disabled children in the same classroom, which would create more inclusive society in the long run.
She urged the Church to lead the movement away from ignorance and insensitivity.
Emphasizing on the role of the church to create more conversation in the churches, she said many churches knowingly or unknowingly exclude people with disabilities. She observed that some people who do not have certain capabilities are not treated properly and added that such people are not aware of their rights.
She also took the opportunity to explain how she was a normal person and not born as disabled but due to an accident, she suffered locomotor disability. She also described the ordeals she faced while undergoing treatment and how she overcame and finally accepted reality.
Stating that it was probably impossible to live a life of disabled, she said many people consider people with disability as ‘abnormal’ but that is utter nonsense.
The Disability Commissioner also explained the stigma attached to being a disabled person and said they have to deal with people’s attitudes. She said there is so much unawareness and ignorance about disability everywhere.
She disclosed that around 15% (1 billion) of the world’s population live with disability and the disabled are the world’s largest minority. Stating that this figure is increasing day by day, she said the longer we live, disability tends to happen.
She further disclosed that according to 2011 census, 29631 people in Nagaland, which is 1.5% of the total population was found to be disabled, but the actual number will be much higher now. She also said that the disability movement has been given an impetus and now they have become strong.
However she rued that the disability sector is being ignored by the Government and civil societies. She said even though the Disability Act was passed in 1995, nothing has been done for a long time. The new Act was passed in Parliament in 2016 and became a law in 2017, she added.
Stating that 1 in 5 people live with disability, she said most people think about visible disability, but all are not visible.
“People with disabilities are part of the society, but sadly in the society we are still ‘people with disability’ as people who cannot do this or that ~ very negative attitude against disabled people”, she said.
In the technical session, Dr Imlitemsü Ozüküm, MD (PMB), Senior Specialist, DDRC, District Hospital, Dimapur, spoke on “Addressing the issues of Disabilities from Medical Perspective” and Maong Jamir spoke on “Addressing the issues of Disabilities”.
(Page News Service)