ravi-sir3A panel discussion was held on the occasion of International Day for Persons with Disabilities. NMTV Editor in Chief Dr. Ravi Subbaiah who also heads the Handicap Welfare Association addressed the audience on the occasion. A panel discussion cum conference to mark International Day for Persons with Disabilities was held at SIES auditorium at Nerul. Eminent resource persons were invited to address an audience of parents, professionals and others. The event started with the lamp lighting ceremony at the hands of the dignitaries which included Dr. H Dholakia – a founder member pf Parivar, a Delhi based Parent association, Dr. Sen Gupta – Director SIES, Dr. Samir Dalwai – member of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Barkha Jain – member of National Institute for Open Schooling and Dr. Ravi Subbaiah – Editor In Chief of NMTV and President of Handicap Welfare Association. The discussions started with Dr. Samir Dalwai talking about child rights. Dr. Dalwai said that since many parents do not know that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights exists and that is why there is an urgent need to address it. During the meet, Suhas Kale, the General Manager of Maharashtra State Finance and Development Corporation shared with all the schemes that the state offers to persons with disabilities. This includes Rs 20 000 to Rs 5 lac loans for businesses and upto Rs. 15 lacs for educational loans to special children. Barkha Jain of NIOS spoke about the various facilities that there institute is providing to ensure that all especially girls and women complete education if they could not for various reasons through recognized universities. Dr. H Dholakia spoke about the work that there parents association is doing across the country and informed the audience about the various laws and rights that parents should know. The fitting conclusion to the sessions was given by Dr Ravi Subbaiah, Editor in Chief of NMTV and President of HWA. Dr Ravi Subbaiah Editor in Chief of NMTV and President of HWA gave a first hand perspective of the life and challenges of a person with disabilities. He spoke of how since childhood he was a special child and his parents had to face a bundle of testing times. He said that no matter how rosy the laws for persons with disabilities are in reality they are never practiced due to apathy of leaders and government officials. He said that even PCOs businesses are not working which is the most popular business of the handicap but the govt. does not care. He said that all govt. schemes and policies were an eyewash and the most recent example of this is CIDCO’s mass housing project. He also shared his plans to make a world class disability rehabilitation center. Some of the participants, parents and organizers gave their reflections of the conference. Like Dr. Ravi Subbaiah said and was reiterated by all present, Aarushi is a new beginning, a new hope to ensure that if not the present but the future generation of the especially abled persons live life with dignity and justice. With cameraperson Vikrant Baile, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.

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