Small yet significant achievements byARUN KUMAR SINGH

Small yet significant achievements of the Viklang Manch (forum for the disabled) can do much to further the disability movement in India.

Strong resistance to incidents of discrimination and exclusion reveal that even a state commissioner was not spared. Victor from ActionAid’s disability unit explains:

“Arun Kumar Singh, the convener of the Viklang Manch in Jharkhand is a wheelchair user. He went to meet Himani Pande, the state commissioner for disability, to discuss issues affecting disabled people in the state and invite him to attend International Disability Day events. But the disability commissioner's office was located on the third floor and had no lift.

“Since the office was inaccessible to Arun, he requested the commissioner to meet him downstairs. Initially the commissioner seemed reluctant but thanks to Arun's persistent demands he finally came down and met Arun at the office gate.

“Himani Pande promised that on International Disability Day on December 3, he would shift his office from the third floor to the ground floor. A small step but an important one,” adds Victor.

Viklang Manch is a countrywide forum for the disabled. The disability unit of ActionAid was active in its formation to take the causes of disabled persons forward, especially in Jharkand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka and Gujarat .

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