05th February 2020, Hotel Ambassador, New Delhi
National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India (GoI) and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE), Government of India (GoI) are collaborating for facilitating Disability-inclusion in the process of Disaster Risk Reduction. In this context, NIDM had organized a National Conference on Disability-inclusive Disaster Reduction: Pathways for Inclusion and Action for Resilience on 05 February 2020 at the Ambassador Hotel, New Delhi, in collaboration with the DEPwD. The National Conference follows from a Consultative Workshop held on 18th October 2019 on the subject, which deliberated on preparing a framework for capacity building in DiDRR. This conference was held with an aim to bring together practitioners and stakeholders from fields of disability and disaster risk reduction to identify actions for inclusive resilience.
Disability is a complex, dynamic and multidimensional issue that encompasses physical barriers, social and economic exclusion and institutional indifference. India, according to Census 2011, has around 2.68 crore people who live with disabilities and constitute around 2.21 percent of the nation’s population. Disasters affect the persons with disabilities inordinately by aggravating the existing conditions for the disabled persons. The mortality rate of people with disabilities is two times higher than the general population in disasters. Poor planning of disaster response and recovery measures leads to exclusion of disabled victims due to inaccessibility. With the increasing number of disasters, there is a need to incorporate inclusivity in the process of disaster risk reduction (DRR).
The need to incorporate disability-inclusivity from the planning to the execution stage of disaster risk reduction process has been realized at the global as well as national level. Disability-inclusion has been a guiding principle in DRR process as reflected in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promote the overarching “Leave no One Behind” principle that takes into account the heterogeneity of society including Persons with Disabilities, recognizing them as contributing members of society. With growing global consensus on inclusion and empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for sustainable development, the need for an inclusive DRR process has been felt in India as well. India enacted the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act in 1995 to provide protection and equal opportunities to PwDs. Subsequently, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 was enacted in keeping with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006, of which India is a signatory. Both the UNCRPD and RPwD Act have provisions for equal protection and safety for Persons with Disabilities (PwD’s) in situations of disasters, conflict and emergencies. The Act further enjoins the National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA) and State Disaster Management (DM) Authorities to ensure that PwD’s are included in all activities listed in DM Act 2005.The NDMA has also issued National Disaster Management Guidelines on Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DiDRR) in September 2019 with an aim to implement disability-inclusion in DRR activities of India.
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