International Day of persons with Disabilities – 3rd December 2021

Every year, December 3rd, is globally observed as International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The annual observance of this Day was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. The theme for 2021 is ‘Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible, and sustainable post-COVID-19 world’

Able to Ability, an Avenue of Rotary International District 3141 ( Mumbai ) was initiated in December 2019 with an objective to:

“Empower and enable differently-abled youth and adults through vocational training, employment or entrepreneurial opportunity to lead a life with pride and dignity”

Able to Ability Avenue, organized a series of events on this special day along with partner NGOs and various Rotary Clubs with Rotary Club of Bombay Powai as the lead thanks to President Amit Sheth.

The Day started with a session on Laughter Therapy & Yoga at 9 am conducted by Shri Bhagwan Babur with a focus on finding happiness, well-being and love for each other in spite of difficulties and challenges. 160 differently abled people, parents, caregivers and Rotarians were immersed in the session and there was active participation by all.

Post lunch, at 2 pm, another engaging program was conducted by Human Welfare Charitable Trust where more than 150 visually impaired people enthralled the viewers with an amazing musical performance. Sumptuous snacks were served and 150 ration kits were donated by Rotary Club of Deonar for distribution to the beneficiaries of Human Welfare Charitable Trust. Happy smiles were our food for the soul.

This was followed by the inauguration of 20th Founders Day celebration of MBA Foundation from 3 pm to 5 pm. This awareness creation program and panel discussions was focused on mental health challenges and Disability management during the pandemic times.

Rotary Club of Palghar supported the wedding of 5 disabled couples to help them lead a happy life. The Club has also started a computer training program for the second batch of 25 hearing and speech impaired people as part of vocational training initiatives for the differently abled at the SDSM College, Palghar.. They are also setting a multi-disciplinary training centre for the disabled people in cooperation with SDSM Palghar.

Rotary Club of Ghatkopar West, donated a specially designed wheel chair to para athlete Ms Geeta Chouhan for her participation in National and International sports events. Many other Rotary clubs have also conducted multiple programs for the disabled in their respective areas.

The day long program culminated with a dual District program where ‘Able to Ability District’ 3141 and ‘Enable the Differently Abled’ District 3232 Chennai came together on the same virtual platform for a common cause. Rotary Club of Powai and Rotary Club of Chennai IT City were the lead hosts and joined by 25 Rotary clubs from Mumbai as co-hosts. This was attended by 3141 District

Governor Rtn. Rajendra Agarwal, 3232 DGND Rtn.N. S. Saravanan, Rotary Dignitaries from Mumbai and Chennai, USA and more than 100 participants. During this program, there was a panel discussion between 7 NGOs on their nature of work for disabled people, challenges faced by them, support and help needed to sustain their work and also plans to expand the reach to serve more people. Four outstanding differently abled achievers were also felicitated for their achievements, grit, determination, resilience, tenacity and winning spirit. The Day’s program ended with a fantastic musical and entertainment program created by Smiling Souls and performed by young differently abled children which touched the heart of all participants and made everyone realize how talented and able they are.

On behalf of the Able to Ability avenue, we would like to reinforce our belief that the differently abled are talented and have a latent potential which needs to be identified, groomed and supported to bloom. They are capable of doing so many tasks, many can also be employed gainfully thus giving them a feeling of self-worth and independence. We need to treat them as a normal person and make them inclusive in our society and day to day life.

Together we can make a big difference in the lives of the differently abled, if only we are willing to give them an opportunity.

We urge you to join the Able to Ability movement to make their dreams come true. For details

Project Director ‘Able to Ability’ Dist3141: Rtn. A.V.Suresh, Rotary Club of Deonar, Mumbai. Ph: +91 98210 97310, Email: aavvsuresh@gmail.com

Co-Chairman ‘Enable the Differently Abled’ Dist3232: Rtn. M. Hari Prakash, Rotary Club of IT City, Chennai. Ph: +91 77100 06661, Email: mhariprakash@gmail.com