| Assam social welfare minister Akon Bora gives a laptop to a physically challenged student on International Day of People with Disabilities in Guwahati on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati/Kokrajhar, Dec. 3: International Day of People with Disabilities celebrations turned into a day of waiting for the differently abled children. They had gathered at Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra this morning to participate in the celebrations, but they were kept waiting for hours as the organisers failed to begin the programme on time.
The function, organised by the state social welfare department and scheduled for 9.30am, began almost four hours late.
While participants of the painting contest were lucky that the competition began on time, those waiting to sing and play musical instruments got a chance to perform about two hours later. But their performances had to be cut short for want of time.
However, an official of the social welfare department said, “We began the function on time but the chief guest had been invited in the afternoon.” The actual function began after Assam social welfare minister Akon Bora’s arrived after 1pm.
Speaking at the function, Bora said, “It is very important to provide differently abled individuals with every scope for development. They may have certain disabilities, but they are equally talented as other people. We should not view them as different but, instead, take the initiative to bring them to the mainstream so that they too can lead a dignified life.”
“Differently abled individuals should register themselves in employment exchange meant for them so that they can secure jobs and lead an independent life. If they do not register, it is difficult for us to know about them. Many do not register as they are ignorant about the existence of such an employment exchange,” he added.
Bora distributed bicycles to five differently abled students of Bhauri Devi Sarawgi Deaf and Dumb School.
Laptops were given to students who had cleared their matriculation last year and this year.
Prizes were distributed among winners of the painting competition.
Handicraft items made by these children were also showcased.
In Kokrajhar district, the International Day of People with Disabilities was observed today with the BTC’s social welfare department distributing disability aids.
The department distributed 40 hearing aids, 40 wheelchairs and 40 arms calliper to differently abled people at a programme organised by the All BTAD Disabled Welfare Development, an NGO, at Chotto Molandubi village in Rainadabri area, on the outskirts of Kokrajhar town.
Thirty-five physically challenged students were given Rs 6,400 each as scholarships while 150 women vendors were also given Rs 3,000 each as part of its social welfare activities.
BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary was the chief guest.
A free medical camp and games and sports for physically challenged people were also organised during the day.