New Delhi, 14th September 2020: Manovikas Charitable Society, a civil society organization to successfully help those with intellectual and developmental disabilities organized ‘Mashavara’, an online live consultation for persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities during the Coronavirus outbreak. During the recent episode of live consultation, Ms. Ira Singhal IAS, Joint Director, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of NCT of Delhi and Dr. Nimesh G Desai, Director, IHBAS & Professor of Psychiatry, President, Manovikas Charitable Society came together for a discussion on gender equality and social inclusion.
Gender equality is the state or condition that affords women and girls, men and boys, equal enjoyment of human rights, socially valued goods, opportunities, and resources.Social inclusion seeks to address inequality and/or exclusion of vulnerable populations by improving terms of participation in society. It seeks to promote empowerment and advance peaceful and inclusive societies and institutions. In certain parts of the country, women and girls with disabilities are subjected to multiple layers of discrimination. Such females are three times more likely to experience gender-based violence compared to non-disabled women.They often face “double discrimination” based on their gender and disability. On certain occasions, the level inequality becomes worse for women and girls with disabilities who are members of marginalized ethnic or racial groups or part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.
Talking about the existing state of inequality, Dr. Nimesh G Desai said, “Mashavara has always been a great platform to discuss various issues related to disabilities. The topic that we are discussing is gender inequality which has always been an issue of concern. Over the years it has resolved quite a bit, but it persists. Ideally, I would like to see a gender-neutral society. Indian families are not always necessarily inclusive. In many aspects, they are certainly not often gender equal or neutral. And when the two situations make it only becomes much worse, at least in some pockets. Over protection or lack of empowerment can become a disservice. If we really want to bring a difference then it is important to bring it from an early age, at all levels and should be practiced.”
Further adding to this, Ms. Ira Singhal said, “Gender equality is ignored at a very primary level. It is not possible to inculcate gender equality at a later stage. Talking about empowerment, I would focus on power sharing. On a larger perspective, if everyone works, irrespective of gender or disabilities, the burden is reduced. We need to remove the hang up of power sharing and think with common sense. Let the person be involved in some work as per his/her capabilities and allow them their output.”
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Manovikas Family has initiated various virtual programs to connect with the students. One of such initiatives is Mashvara. Mashavara is an online live consultation for persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The platform provides help and guiding them during this isolation time to provide support. It is open exclusively for children, adults with a disability.
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