3rd December marks the International Day of Person with Disabilities. Yesterday, we observed it with an aim to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society. We have always tried to reach out to the furthest possible and extend our support to empower them. The empathetic comprehensive assistance we offer through our institutions and on my personal capacity is backed by my experience at indescribable deprivation and unimaginable poverty and a belief that one can script ones own destiny with good intentions, strong passion, backbreaking hardwork, honesty and humility.
In the course of the evolution of KIIT and KISS, we have systemically created inclusive policies that enables the differently abled to work, study and flourish at KIIT and KISS. All our campuses are disability friendly spaces and we have differently abled students and staff who find KIIT and KISS as a conducive workplace. KISS Foundation in collaboration with KIIT University has undertaken many initiatives to handhold the differently abled, divyangs, visually impaired, orphans and provide financial assistance, education for the siblings, job if feasible and equip them with the ways to earn for themselves. At KIIT and KISS, we stay true to Dignity not Charity principle. Whenever I come across any coverage on vulnerable disabled people, especially the girls and orphans, I make it a point out to reach out to them and offer them holistic aid to come out of the misery. Right from my childhood, I was always concerned and sympathetic towards the disabled, but I could not help them financially then. Now, I do everything possible to aid, assist and empower.
There are incredible stories of people who have achieved the impossible and not succumbed to any disability. These inspirational stories convince us that each one is special, has some talent that has to be polished and there is no looking back if one works with full willpower steadfastly towards the aim. Major pathbreaking discoveries and achievements have been made by people with disabilities who have only moved forward. At the same time, millions of disabled face exclusion and need help. Government machinery also has institutionalised assistance through a special Ministry for this purpose. Multi dimensional institutional efforts by Government and Civil Society are needed so that no one is left behind.
Take the example of our brilliant performance at Tokyo Paralympics. Our players have proved they are next to none. Besides a warm welcome and felicitation by Government, we also felicitated them to encourage them for setting an example. We are going to name one of our badminton grounds on Pramod Bhagat for his exemplary achievements. We have also supported Rakhal Sethy by providing a wheelchair to participate in Fencing Para World Cup. From supporting blind cricket, to adopting orphan disabled children, providing them assistance through jobs or skilling them to be self reliant, we keep working proactively in this field and believe that our work is still a drop in the ocean, beginning with education.
Education is the basis of progress. It is the foundation stone of growth and the development of the differently abled and their progress begins with education. However, the enrolment rates are low and drop out rates are high. The government can directly tackle these issues by placing obligations on states to respect, protect, and fulfil the right to education of people with disabilities, through the implementation of ‘inclusive education’.