Get-hooked December 15, 2020
Javed Abidi Foundation launches project identifying themes to mainstream disability
The Javed Abidi Foundation has announced the launch of C.H.A.N.G.E., a project that identifies seven different themes to mainstream disability in. This would involve working with organisations with expertise in the different themes identified under the project.
One of the dreams cherished by late disability rights activist Javed Abidi was to see a ministry for persons with disabilities and not just a department. “He wanted to mainstream issues at a ministerial level by having designated officers in different ministries take up issues of people with disabilities”, recalled Shameer Rishad, Convenor, Javed Abidi Foundation (JAF), while talking about his uncle’s wishes to mainstream disability.
C.H.A.N.G.E. is a step in that direction. This is a project launched by the JAF that has identified seven different themes to mainstream disability in. C.H.A.N.G.E. represents intersectionalities of Child rights, Health, Age-Related/acquired disability, Nutrition, Gender and sexuality, Environment and Education (C.H.A.N.G.E.). JAF hopes to work in a spirit of collaboration and work with organisations that have expertise under the different themes of C.H.A.N.G.E. to co-create inclusive content.
Seven areas of focus identified
This project of JAF has been incubated and designed by Pravah, under their Changelooms fellowship programme in partnership with Commutiny, Sauhard, Rubaroo, Yeh Ek Soch Foundation and supported by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, United States Department of State.
At the launch, Rama Krishnamachari, Founder Disability Rights India Foundation (DRIF) and Diversity & Equal Opportunity Centre (DEOC) spoke about the life and different campaigns of Javed Abidi, introducing the audience to his work giving them a deeper understanding of disability rights advocacy.
Gagan Adlakha, Leadership Coach and Senior Partner at Vyaktitva said, “we need to act by first educating ourselves about the specific needs of people with disabilities and work with them to build a more inclusive society”.
A total of 70 people with and without disabilities participated in the launch event which had seven simultaneous, world café style revolving break out room discussions, over zoom on the different themes under the concept of C.H.A.N.G.E.
To truly embrace the philosophies of ‘nothing about us without us’ and ‘by youth, for youth’ youth with disabilities participates in the different revolving discussions and student volunteers of JAF took on the roles to moderate and rapporteur for the sessions as well.
Aishwarya Othenna, a Research scholar at Indian Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB), moderated the discussions on child rights and said “it was a very enriching experience to be able to facilitate discussions that brought together such diverse questions and facets of one overarching theme. Each group had something different to contribute, different yet vital”.
Disability rights activist, Gauri Gupta moderated the discussions on education. “Since everyone came from diverse backgrounds, the points they shared were varied as well and shared in a healthy way”. Anusha Mishra, Founder, Revival Disability Magazine and the moderator for discussions on gender and sexuality said that “as a woman with disability myself, I feel it is important to have sessions where we can have these uncomfortable but important conversations about gender & sexuality, further spreading awareness about the issues of people with disabilities ”.
Chandrayee Dutta, an intern at Enable India, who moderated discussions on environment, said “it felt really nice because people were putting forth different views. What I noticed was that a lot of people were concerned about how people with disabilities fare during natural calamities as society overlook them. Women with disabilities get harassed during evacuation processes as well”.
As a result of the event a total of 250 distinct questions were brainstormed, creating a robust foundation for deeper research into the concept of C.H.A.N.G.E.
JAF is looking to collaborate with organisations working in the seven areas Interested people can reach ou tto the convenor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Taking Javed Abidi’s legacy forward – Guest Column by Shameer Rishad, Convenor, Javed Abidi Foundation
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