The first World Congress on community-based rehabilitation (CBR) of the disabled began here Monday.
The three-day conference, which aims at realising the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities through CBR as a global strategy, saw participation of 1,200 delegates from from 85 countries.
Stuti Kacker, secretary, department of disability affairs in the ministry of social justice and empowerment, in her opening remarks, said the World Congress would attempt to arrive at a common understanding of CBR, to help expedite the realisation of the Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
A large number of experts and government officials from various countries are participating in the congress, which is supported by World Health Organisation, Australian Aid, USAID, Sight-Savers and CBM, a charitable organisation.
Poonam Natarajan, president of the organising committee of the congress, said the meet would aim at promoting community-based rehabilitation of people with disability as a means to improving the quality of life of the disabled and their families, in different parts of the world.
Bhushan Punani, who also serves as a spokesperson for the world congress, said: “It was heartening that India took the lead in organising the first such conference. India has a high percentage of people with disability, and CBR will help us reach people in need in their homes.”
Bhushan said: “We hope that a new law, the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2012, is passed in this session of parliament.”
Bhushan said the government of India has taken steps to ensure that the corporate sector realises its social responsibility, and added that the Right to Education Act too would provide for children with disabilities to have the same facilities as children with no disability.
“This would be a bold step,” he said.