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Paralympic Fencer Vibhas Sen and Jhatkaa.org come together for the inclusion of disability data in a national health survey

Jun 29, 2023

Paralympic Fencer Vibhas Sen and Jhatkaa.org come together for the inclusion of disability data in a national health survey

New Delhi (India), June 29: Paralympic fencer and disability rights activist, Vibhas Sen, has joined forces with Jhatkaa.org, a leading social justice advocacy organisation, to address the challenges of inadequate data collection on persons with disabilities. Together, they are calling for the inclusion of disability-related questions in the upcoming National Family Health Survey-6 (NFHS-6) conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Despite the enactment of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act in 2016, significant gaps persist in the collection of comprehensive data on individuals with disabilities. Recognising the pressing nature of this problem, Sen says it is crucial to find a solution and bridge this data gap.

The collection of accurate data plays a pivotal role in determining the allocation of funds for welfare schemes and programmes catering to persons with disabilities. The insufficient availability of funds has a deep impact on their day-to-day lives, limiting their access to necessary support systems and hindering their full participation in society.

“Through enhanced data collection, extensive research, and effective dissemination, we can ensure equal access to public provisions and spaces for people with disabilities. Data collection can also help in eradicating stereotypes and misconceptions, identifying service gaps, and evaluating the impact of policies and programmes on the lives of people with disabilities. These help us hold governments accountable for their commitment to people with disabilities,” said Sen.

Disappointingly, NFHS-6, scheduled to commence in a month, has excluded disability-related questions from its survey. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s official statement that “disability data won’t change fast” further compounds this neglect. Such exclusion perpetuates a narrow definition of disability and undermines the urgent need to address this issue.

To express his concern over this exclusion and challenge the normalisation of a limited perspective on disability, Sen has partnered with Jhatkaa.org. They are jointly demanding that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare incorporates disability-related questions in the survey, encompassing all disabilities listed under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Sen and Jhatkaa.org believe in equality for all and are confident that by uniting the voices of compassionate citizens, they can bring about meaningful change. In order to amplify their demands and ensure they are heard; they urge citizens to show their support by signing the petition online https://bit.ly/3pjT2f9

For more information Kindly visit the website https://jhatkaa.org/ 

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