Disabled archers bring laurels to state; decries govt apathy

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IMPHAL, Mar 12: The Spastic Society of Manipur organized a reception ceremony of five disabled archers of the state including three medalists and a team manager of the just concluded 3rd National Paralympic Archery Championship held at Jawahalal Nehru Stadium, Amravati, Maharastra from 5th to 7th March 2011 and another medalist from last year’s edition of the national today at the Manipur Press Club.

The disabled archers was led by team manager Bachaspatimayum Sophia and the bowmen who brought laurels for the state are indentified as Thangjam Chanulembi Devi (wheel chair) d/o Th. (O) Prabhasini Devi of Jiribam Ningthembam Leikai, who brought overall gold medal in 30m and in 50m, Bachaspatimayum Meneka Devi (Standing) d/o B. Tombi Devi of Nahabam Ningthembam Leikai who brought gold medal on 30m and silver in 50m, Salam Luwanglakpa Meitei (Satnding) s/o Naobi Devi of Nandeibam Leikai who brought silver in 30m, bronze in 50m, 70m and in 90m and Irengbam Ranjit Singh (standing) s/o I Merajao of Moirang Shribon Leikai who is the national bronze medalist last years.

While speaking to media persons the disabled archers sadly disclosed that due to state government negligent while providing their equipment for them, they had to hire the bow and arrow and other equipments from SAI for practice. They further added that the very achievement is due to support of the Indian Army and NGOs who have supported them.

Meanwhile the L Ricky, secretary Spastic Society of Manipur stated that a meeting was held earlier on March 9 at the state guest house where it was unanimously resolved to include the following resolutions in the making of the new act for the disabled persons which includes that the disabled persons should have a special identity card and special sign like red ribbon for HIV AIDS to create awareness of their rights. Blue and yellow could be declared as one.

Further briefing mediapersons on the meeting, he maintained that child protection policy should be made compulsory in all educational institutions, hostels , hospitals , amusement parks and public places.

The law should define roles of national and state council for child welfare on issues of children with disabilities or to have special rapporteur for children with disability in the council and special allowances should be provided to families with disabled persons to meet the needs of the disabled persons. This can include income tax rebates or exemptions, special food allowances in ration cards to BPL families, he maintained.

The participants said that films or other media which depicts disabilities as laughing stock should be banned; similarly using photos and films of disabled persons without their consent should be prohibited.

The parents in the group felt that the choice should be provided to the children for inclusive education or special education. They feel that keeping the child with disability at the centre of decision , special schools should also be promoted.

The resolutions also include that residential inclusive schools in hilly regions have to be promoted. There is a need of a single sign language to be followed in India and included in the VIII scheduled as a language as is done in other countries like American Sign language or British sign language.

In India presently there is no uniformity in use of sign language and there is a need to have one common sign language to avoid confusion in the education for the children with hearing impairment. To include special allowances to families with disabled persons to meet the needs of the disabled persons which should include income tax rebates or exemptions, Special food allowances in ration cards to BPL families etc.

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