PA/12/17 23 August 2017
Australian High Commission launches Development4All disability-inclusive campaign in India
Today, Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu launched ‘Development4All’, a disability-inclusive development campaign, which is part of the High Commission’s Direct Aid Program.
The Census 2011 figures for India indicate that disability affects around 27 million Indians – more than the population of Australia. Out of these, nearly 70 per cent live in rural regions with fewer services and more barriers to social inclusion.
Only 36 per cent of the disabled population across India are employed, and those unable to work become dependent on their families. According to the World Bank, including people with disabilities outside the economy could raise GDP by upto 7 per cent.
Speaking at the launch, Ms Sidhu said that adopting a disability-inclusive approach in society is critical to ensuring the promotion of human rights, realising the economic potential of society and, importantly, ensuring development for all.
“In 2016-17 our Direct Aid Program supported 10 disability-inclusive projects across India.
I hope this campaign will act as a catalyst for new partnerships and at all levels between government, business and civil society within and between Australia and India,” she added.
The launch event, organised in partnership with the Samarthanam Trust for Disabled included a panel discussion moderated by Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner
Chris Elstoft, on ways to include people with disabilities in India’s economic development.
Among the eminent panellist were Mr Prasanna Kumar Pincha, former Chief Commissioner for persons with disability under the social justice ministry; Mr Mahantesh GK, Founder of Samarthanam Trust and Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI); Ms Vibha Sequeira, Managing Trustee of Wipro Cares and Mr Sonu Golkar, a member of the winning T20 BlindCricket World Cup Team 2017.
The Australian High Commission will partner with local NGOs over the next few months to organise a series of events with an aim to deliver tangible benefits to persons with disabilities and raise awareness of the importance of inclusivity across India.
For more information about our Direct Aid Program: http://india.highcommission.gov.au/ndli/dap2017.html