The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu said that stigmatisation and discrimination cannot be tolerated by any civilized society and people with disabilities have every right to live with dignity, while addressing the gathering after launching Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Scheme to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, in Guwahati, Assam on 3 december 2017. The Governor of Assam, Jagdish Mukhi, the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that according to United Nations, a disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual of their group. The impairment could be physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, mental illness and could relate to any of the various types of chronic diseases, he added.
The Vice President said that people with disability need to be treated with empathy and not sympathy. They do not want to be pitied upon but want to be provided with opportunities that will enable them to overcome their handicaps, he added. The Vice President complimented the Government of Assam for its proposal to provide Rs.5,000 for medical treatment as a one-time grant-in-aid for each of the 4,50,000 Divyangs in the State under Deen Dayal Divyangjan Sahajya Achani and for allocating Rs.250 crore for the scheme.
He further said that he was happy to know that the Government of Assam has introduced a new Act, called “Assam Employees PRANAM Act, 2017”, under which each government employee is compelled to contribute 10 per cent of his/her salary towards taking care of his/her parents, including persons with disabilities. He advised other State Governments to emulate Assam Government’s scheme in view of the growing population of the elderly in India. The Vice President appealed all people to strive to build an inclusive New India where none is discriminated, especially persons with disabilities, and where all Indians are equally benefited by economic prosperity and growth.