Address at Bhoomi Pujan of Multipurpose project of the Society for Welfare of the Differently Abled persons Education and Research Centre at Pune
Address by Shri Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Bhoomi Pujan of the Multipurpose project of the Society for the Welfare of the Differently Abled persons (Physically Handicapped) Education and Research Centre (Apang Kalyankari Shikshan Sanstha Va Sanshodhan Kendra) at Wanwadi, Pune 411040 at 1115 hrs on Saturday 27th February 2016
Shri Dilip Kamble, Hon’ble Minister of State for Social Justice, Shri Anil Shirole, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Shri Pradeep Rawat, former Member of Parliament and President of the Society for the Welfare of the Physically Handicapped, Advocate Murlidhar Kachare, Chairman of the Sanstha, Shri Prashant Jagtap, Corporator, Smt Latabai Bankar, Secretary of the Institute, distinguished invitees, my dear children, ladies and gentlemen,
Namaskar and greetings to all of you.
मी हळू हळू मराठी शिकत आहे. पुढच्या वेळी पूर्ण मराठीत बोलीन !!
I am very happy to be in your midst for laying the Foundation Stone of the proposed Multipurpose Project of the Apang Kalyankari Shikshan Sanstha.
Today I was pleased to witness the Exhibition of articles made by the students. I also visited the Dormitories for Boys and Girls. I was pleased to see the Computer Lab, Physiotherapy Lab and the Skill Development Department of the Sanstha.
But more than anything else, I am happy to be meeting all of you, boys and girls, who are the future citizens of our great Nation.
All of you are brave children. All of you are talented children. You have been staying away from your homes to acquire good education at this Sanstha.
I have come here to tell you that I am proud of you – I am proud of each one of you. Maharashtra is proud of you.
I have also come here to invite you. I am inviting you to visit Raj Bhavan in Mumbai. I am asking the Chairman of your Sanstha, to please bring all the children to Mumbai Raj Bhavan.
तुम्ही सर्व जण मुंबईला या, राज भवनला या. मी तुम्हाला निमंत्रित करीत आहे.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I was pleased to know that the Apang Kalyankaari Sanstha was started way back in the year 1956 and I was even more pleased to know that the First Governor of Maharashtra Sri Prakasa had visited the institution in the initial years.
The Society has since then served as a Home away from home for the physically handicapped boys and girls from Maharashtra and even those coming from other States.
During the last 60 years it has played a significant role in educating, rehabilitating and empowering several generations of physically handicapped persons.
I congratulate the Sanstha on the occasion of laying of the Foundation Stone of the Multipurpose Complex.
Ladies and gentlemen,
At a time when India is emerging as an economic Super Power, we cannot afford to leave behind any single major group of people – be it women, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the Economically Backward communities, the Physically Handicapped or other disadvantaged groups.
Our development process will be complete only when it touches and benefits all the sections of society.
It has been often noticed that persons suffering from physical disabilities have extraordinary capabilities in other areas. The Hon’ble Prime Minister has even suggested using the term ‘Divyang’ in place of ‘Apang’ or ‘Vikalang’. The Prime Minister has expressed the government’s resolve to ensure dignity and empowerment of the differently-abled.
Since Independence, our Parliament has passed a series of legislations for the empowerment of differently abled persons. Today, there is greater awareness in society towards physically and mentally challenged persons.
However, we have to go a long way in creating a society that is inclusive and barrier-free for all individuals.
Even today there are biases among people about the ability of the disbled persons to do many jobs. Today, the disabled persons have conquered almost all areas. They have conquered the Mount Everest; they have won medals in various sporting events.
Last month, I felicitated the Best Cancer Surgeon in India, perhaps in the world, Dr Suresh Advani. Dr Advani suffers from polio and is wheel-chair bound from his childhood. But the handicap didn’t prevent him from achieving excellence in his area.
I want to appeal to all children to dream big and become a leader in whatever you do. I will ask the Sanstha to start the latest educational programmes and skill development programmes for the children in the Multipurpose Complex that will give them a good start in life and career.
I have appeal for the teachers also. I will especially call upon all teachers to inculcate in children the ambition to become an entrepreneur.
Last week I read a news from Kazaksthan. A new online store in Astana sells all the products manufactured only by handicapped persons. The site offers about 220 products, including various paintings and crafts like head bands, ear rings, bracelets, frames, clothing items, toys, clocks and decorations made by the handicapped persons.
In a similar manner, the Sanstha must encourage forming an online portal to sell the products made by physically challenged persons. I am sure, it will become a successful start-up venture.
I feel sad that many companies are reluctant to employ handicapped persons. Recently a start-up company in Hyderabad, named JustBuy, started by a young man announced that it will use the services of only differently-abled persons to run its business. The company has recruited physically and visually-challenged and also deaf persons as delivery boys and customer service executives.
I will appeal to big and small companies to shed their bias towards physically challenged persons and give them equal opportunities in employment.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Many people’s representatives are present here today. I will urge them to raise their voice to make every city and town, every public institution, every government office and all public transports – disabled friendly.
I will also appeal to the Trustees to work for integration of physically challenged children with normal children. Thought should be given to organizing sports and games involving normal children and physically challenged children.
We owe it to the differently-abled children, a safe childhood. We owe it to them a more humane and enabling atmosphere. We owe these children a better life, where they can realize their full potential as human beings and contribute to the process of economic development of the nation.
With these words, I congratulate the Apang Kalyankari Santha for its excellent services to the physically handicapped children and wish it Godspeed in its future endeavours.
Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra