Persons with Disabilities want Government to do better by them

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As Guyana joins with other United Nations member countries to observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities is calling on the government to do more.

The day is being observed under the banner “Achieving 17 goals for the future we want.” This theme notes the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.

In his message to mark the occasion, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon calls for equal participation for persons with disabilities in a world that embraces humanity in all its diversity.

The Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities as part of their observances, on Friday, hosted an award ceremony to recognise volunteers along with persons from the community for their positive contributions. The 20 recipients were drawn from Regions two, three, four, five, six, seven and 10.

The simple ceremony was hosted by the Guyana society for the blind with sponsorship from the ‘Heaven’s Care’ Daycare.

Among them was, chairman of the Council, Mr Leon Walcott, who had strong words for the Government and those organisations who tend to ignore this community.

His first criticism was for government and their perceived snub of persons with disabilities; something he said is reflected in the 2017 budget.

“I saw under education in the National Budget speech 2017, a cursory mention about persons with disabilities. They wrote about the Guyana council for persons with disabilities working with the government to promote technical and vocational education training. The truth is, we appreciate it but they should have gone into a bit more details to give us some more encouragement, something like we’re going to increase finance, we’re going to increase resources, we’re going to increase the payment for volunteers so that they can do better” Mr. Walcott contended.

Meantime the council has organised several other activities to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, including an Awareness walk and craft exhibition in Region 5.

Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been celebrated annually on 3 December around the world.

According to the United Nations, this year’s objectives include assessing the current status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and SDGs and laying the foundation for a future of greater inclusion for persons with disabilities. The observance of the 2016 IDPD coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD – one of the most quickly and widely ratified international treaties put forth by the United Nations to date.

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