Javed Abidi – Nothing about Us, without Us – A Tribute
Javed Abidi, who passed away on 5 March 2018 is known as the pioneer of the disability rights movement in India. Many call him the ‘Mahatma’ of the movement in India.
In this video by Newz Hook, people who worked with Mr Abidi, and his family members, recall the qualities that made him such a special man.
In 2014 when I became Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, I came into contact with him. I saw that he was completely dedicated to the cause of the welfare of the disabled people. He worked hard all his life towards their welfare. He also guided the Ministry on how to work to help people with disabilities – Dr Thawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India
There are very few people who are crusaders like him. And that’s why I think the shock value of his passing away at this untimely time because you know it’s not easy to replace and get champions like him – Som Mittal, Chairman, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP)
It has been 10 days and consistently people have been coming and sharing their experiences and telling how they have been impacted. So, it has been very, yes its definitely makes one very proud – Amir Abidi, Javed Abidi’s brother
The first man who got together these isolated disability groups into into one whole, the way he fought he took the took movement to every part of the country South, East, West, North he wove all of them together, he brought all the disabilities on to a common platform – Rati Mishra Advsior, NCPEDP
We had a meeting with all the IAS Officers, where a blind person, a wheelchair user and a deaf person (Me) were present. But the interpreter was not provided by the government. A government official started speaking, Javed asked him, “Do you see him?” pointed on me. He thought I look similar like a hearing person and I corrected that No, I am a deaf. He asked, “Where is the interpreter?” Because blind can hear and understand, but deaf can’t hear so interpreter is needed. The government official told sorry that he wasn’t aware – A S Narayanan, President, National Association of the Deaf
I remember the first time I met him when he was so straight about asked me, “Why should I work with you? I don’t even know you.” And when I told him about the problem that people with disabilities were going to face as more and more technology was going to be adopted his answer to me initially was, “But nobody else has told me about it”. But finally, after a day of thinking about it he actually sat down and said “Let’s work on this. I don’t know about other people, but I believe we are going to take this forward” – Shilpi Kapoor, Founder, BarrierBreak, 24/7 Accessible Documents, NewzHook
He would never take a no for an answer. I think that was one big capability of his. He would be at it. He might be angry, he might be disappointed which he often was. He was be shocked at the apathy, that all of us have towards the disabled, but then he would be always at it – Som Mittal, Chairman, NCPEDP
He understood the needs of different people, he understood the political system of the country, he understood the social system of the country so well, so everything that he did was always designed to, it was never addressed at a certain group or a certain disability – Rati Mishra, Advisor, NCPEDP
If we gather as one, government will accept otherwise in different groups government will remain confused, this is to inform you. Similarly, one example, when different groups asked for RPWD Act 2016, government didn’t accept but when all gathered as one voice they accepted and passed the law
RPWD Act 2016 in the Parliament. Thanks to him – A S Narayanan, President, NAD
He believed very strongly in that in not giving up and he always had that quality in him. It was I think, it was god-gifted thing which, I don’t remember him ever, ever complaining about anything – Sheeba Abidi, Javed Abidi’s sister
He has given us the RPWD Act, he has given us so many different methods of advocacy and lobbying. He has taught so many people in the disability sector whether it was through DRG, or NDN or you know the National Council that he has set up – really really critical that each of us comes together – Shilpi Kapoor, Founder, BarrierBreak, 24/7 Accessible Documents, NewzHook
You Will Be Missed.