News18» News»World»World Disability Day 2020: History, Theme and Significance
1-MIN READ

World Disability Day 2020: History, Theme and Significance

A woman receives therapy treatment inside a training centre for disabled people in Ahmedabad. (Image: Reuters)

A woman receives therapy treatment inside a training centre for disabled people in Ahmedabad. (Image: Reuters)

The United Nations General Assembly in 1976 proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons. A plan of action at the National, regional and International levels, was called for.

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons is followed around the world on December 3. First established by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3 in 1992, the day is focused to promote the well-being and rights of people dealing with disabilities in every sphere of society and development. The day also aims to spread awareness of the situation in every aspect of social, political, economic and cultural life.

History of World Disability Day:

The United Nations General Assembly in 1976 proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons. A plan of action at the National, regional and International levels, was called for. The main objectives for the initiative were rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities and equalisation of opportunities. The decade of 1983–1992 was proclaimed the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons by the General Assembly. It was done to provide a definite time frame wherein governments and organisations would implement the undertakings recommended in the World Programme of Action.

Significance of World Disability Day:

The world population is over 7 billion people and one billion people and more live with some form of disability. That accounts for approximately 15 per cent of the entire world’s population and 80 per cent live in the developing countries. ‘The world’s largest minority’ that means persons with disabilities generally have poorer health, fewer economic opportunities, lower education achievements and higher rates of poverty compared to people without disabilities. This happens mainly because of the lack of services at their disposal.

The many obstacles they face in their daily lives can take a variety of forms, including those resulting from legislation or policy, those relating to the physical environment, or from societal attitudes or discrimination. When barriers to their inclusion are eliminated and they are empowered to fully participate in societal life, the community of persons with disabilities benefits. Therefore, accessibility is necessary to accomplish progress and a detriment to society as a whole.

Theme of World Disability Day:

The year 2020 has brought excess grief for the disabled persons who are not treated well under normal conditions. The COVID 19 pandemic has deepened their grief considering they had less access to health care, employment, in the community. The theme for this year is ‘Building Back Better’. The theme is shaped with an aim to form a disability-inclusive, sustainable and accessible post-COVID-19 situation.