Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Another International Year

During the process of going through old papers, I came across the monthly bulletin of the Rotaract club of Pondicherry which had an article written by me when I was a student of the law college there. Rotaract club is the student wing of the Rotary club which seeks to contribute to service to the society Some of the goals of the rotaract clubs are  developing constructive leadership and personal integrity,encouraging thought and action in helping others,recognizing the worth of each individual etc.

It was around that  time that the United Nations started declaring years for focusing on various global issues that affect mankind.When I read the article, I felt that it is as relevant today as it was then, since after celebrating the year and talking about the issue people tend to move on and do not engage in sufficient follow up to ensure that the same are resolved. Now the article in the exact form that it was published in January 1981.

"  The UNO has been announcing quite regularly International years focusing on the various sections of society and our country has been celebrating them in a routine fashion.The sad aspect of the whole thing is that we tend to forget all about the very purpose of such celebrations when the year concerned comes to an end.

Thus,while it was not very long ago in 1975 that we celebrated the International Womens' Year,in 1980 we come across frequent bride burning and vicious rapes by the so called protectors of law.Today, the problems faced by women remain as grave as ever.Similarly, the celebration of the International Year of the Child cannot be said to have laid any foundation for the happy and secure future of our children.

Now, we are to celebrate 1981 as the International Year of the Disabled.It is essential that we ensure that this year also does not fizzle out weakly like the earlier years.The most important aspect concerning the disabled is that of training and rehabilitation.The handicapped need to be given an opportunity to make a respectable living of their own without having to lean or depend on others.

On the request of the Social welfare department of the Government, the rotaract club had made a survey two months ago in the city of Pondicherry in order to assess the total number of disabled persons and to understand the kind of help that may be made available to them.

However, an interesting finding of the survey was that a high percentage of the disabled did not wish to exert themselves but preferred to live on doles.Here, it would be essential to provide them with some employment counselling. The disabled may also come across problems of adjustment within the home or in the social environment for which general counselling would be helpful.

It is hoped that the Social Welfare department will continue to seek the help of rotaractors in carrying out any scheme that may be drawn up in this regard.For, if only the rotaractors involve themselves adequately in the definite area of rehabilitation can there be any sense of fulfillment.

Finally, let us remind ourselves that the welfare schemes for the disabled are not to be wound up the moment the year 1981, comes to an end..." 

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