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NSRLM & SCPD inks MoU for welfare of PwDs

PwDs Mou

KOHIMA, JUNE 27: Nagaland State Rural Livelihoods Mission (NSRLM) and State Commission for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) Monday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strategically strengthen PwDs in the State.
The MoU states that the convergence of the NSRLM with SCPD connotes that the NSRLM has human resources and institutional presence in all villages with community service providers to strengthen the process of mobilization and institution building, while the office of CPWD has the technical expertise for required strategies support as per laid plans and necessary interventions.
In this context, NSRLM and SCPD have formed a partnership to address issues faced by the vulnerable community, particularly PwDs, and to facilitate access to entitlements and other benefits, while also exploring avenues for holistic development of the most vulnerable to live a dignified life, it maintained.
The partnership will be effective for a period of one year, while any possible extension will be based on review as per progress based on the field of requirement and achievement of expected outcomes outlined in the corresponding annual action plan, it stated.
NSRLM Mission Director Imtimenla and Nagaland State Commissioner for PwDs, Diethono Nakhro signed the MoU in an official programme held here in the presence of State Programme Manager Khriezovonuo Lhoungu and other stakeholders.
NSRLM Mission Director Imtimenla said the MoU will be for a period of 12 months initially and will be piloted in 4 Model Blocks ~ Jakhama, Chumukedima, Longleng and Wokha Blocks ~ under Kohima, Dimapur, Longleng and Wokha districts respectively.
The pilots are selected for target interventions and an implementation framework will be developed by both partners upon signing of the MoU so that the activities can immediately begin in the target Blocks, she said.
“It is our fervent hope that, with the partnership officially taking off as of today, we can facilitate the vulnerable community towards a meaningful life and they will have an identity apart from the ‘disability’ tag and emerge as dignified members of the society”, she said.
Speaking on the occasion, Nagaland Commissioner for PwDs, Diethono Nakhro said approximately 27million people with disabilities live in India which accounts to around 2.21% of the Population as per Census 2011.
In Nagaland, the figure is 29,631 according to Census 2011 or 1.5% of the total population, she said while making it clear that this is a very conservative figure and, in reality, there will be thousands more living with different kinds of disabilities in our State.
People who live with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty than persons without disabilities due to barriers in society such as stigma and discrimination, inaccessible environments, limited access to education and employment and lack of inclusion in livelihood and other social programmes, she said.
Disability accentuates poverty because the systemic institutional, environmental and attitudinal barriers that people with disabilities encounter in their daily lives result in their entrenched social exclusion and their lack of participation in society, she said.
She also noted that women with disabilities face significantly more difficulties – because of existing gender biases and also because of the barriers they encounter due to their disability.
This also places disabled women and girls at higher risk of gender-based violence, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation, particularly girls and women with psycho-social disabilities, she said.
Saying that the Self-Help Groups (SHG) movement has now become an effective strategy for poverty alleviation and social mobilization, she said SHGs can be very effective in helping persons with disabilities come out of isolation and drive their participation and inclusion in society.
Society’s treatment of disabled people breeds isolation and loneliness while the isolation is not by choice but due to a lack of opportunities and options, she said.
The Commissioner of PwDs said that community groups like SHGs can help disabled people build relationships within the group and also in the wider community and in the process help build their confidence and independence.
This collaborative project is so much needed given the situation that still exists in Nagaland, she said adding that the harsh truth is that when it comes to disability, the situation has been disgracefully bad for a very long time.
(Page News Service)