ABILITY BEYOND DISABILITY
People’s participation is key to socially mainstream persons with disabilities (PWDs) and has a direct bearing on public health conditions, women’s empowerment, early childhood care and community-based rehabilitation. India’s diverse culture with varied demographic conditions are vital factors to be considered for the successful implementation of programmes and schemes aimed at mainstreaming persons with disabilities. At the same time, technological innovations in the form of assistive devices need to be delivered at the door step level of those in need, especially in the underserved remote border areas of the country. All this is crucial for encouraging community level participation in dealing with the problem of disability and impairment as well as restoring the dignity of persons with disabilities.
MISSION ABILITY BEYOND DISABILITY
If we remove barriers that have relegated disabled persons and provide them with supportive assistive devices conducive to their impairment, it would hone their ability to beat social barriers and the disadvantages associated with their impairment that cause disability.
Strengthen Government endeavours with community level participation.
Reach the unreached.
Strengthen field-based initiatives.
Restore the dignity of persons with disability.
This effort integrated with the Indian Army has acted as a force multiplier in reaching help to persons with disabilities in underserved and remote border locations. This in conjunction with administrative support has paved the way of connecting rehabilitation professionals with those in need and helped remove social barriers associated with person with disabilities.
The mission “Ability Beyond Disability” has been conceptualised by a highly decorated military officer (now retired) with deep knowledge of terrain, social and cultural conditions. His emphasis on maintaining probity, discipline, commitment and devotion in operations has led to enhanced community level participations. The result has been the efficient delivery of door step level services which compliment government endeavours.
This strategic mission similarly strengthens field-based initiatives and allows research scholars, academics, rehabilitation trainers and others to obtain grassroots level primary inputs. This, in turn, enables them to successfully implement their work on the disabled within an Indian context and in a most user-friendly manner. Tactically, this Mission offers multiple advantages, including wining the hearts and minds of border citizens and strengthening their bonds with the nation. This thus serves the interests of national security as well.
This innovative mission is one of its kind and has successfully delivered door step level services in the underserved border regions of Tawang (district Tawang), Seppa (district East Kameng) and Zero (district Lower Subansari) in Arunachal Pradesh, Taminglong in Manipur, Little Andaman in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and interiors of Jammu & Kashmir. The work of the mission has been duly acknowledged in various quarters and received a great outpouring of genuine appreciation. The government of India’s Niti Ayog has acknowledged the mission’s achievements as an example of sterling professional performance.
The mission has rejuvenated the community spirit that gave birth to larger socially inspiring concepts such as “Festival Philanthropy” and ‘Joy in Giving’. These concepts target social bodies, corporate bodies and residence welfare associations and use them to empower and restore the dignity of persons with disabilities. Ultimately, the mission seeks to make a positive contribution towards inclusive development and the restoration of dignified life to persons with disabilities.