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World Disability Day: In His Cycle Repairing Workshop, Shakeel Shares Story of His Everyday Struggle

Shakeel Ahmad from Kalampora Pulwama village is a specially-abled person who has been visiting social welfare officer Pulwama for a tricycle since 2016 but to no avail. Shakeel is suffering from polio since birth. Shakeel on his own opened a cycle repairing shop in the locality, but this doesn’t give him enough money to support his livelihood. We spent a day at his workshop and spoke to him.

Ahead of International Disability Day, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for greater inclusion of persons with disabilities in society, including in COVID-19 response and recovery. “Realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is crucial to fulfilling the core promise of the 2030 Agenda: to leave no one behind,” Antonio Gueterres said.

The theme for the year 2020 is, “Building back better: towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world by, for and with persons with disabilities”.

Shakeel is one of the thousands of disabled persons of Kashmir valley, many of whom struggle in everyday life for support. Although there are many programs run by the social welfare departments of the government of India, most of the specially-abled persona like Shakeel hardly benefit from them.

According to government figures, there are 3,60,000 people living with disabilities among which around 38000 are physically challenged. Every year on 3rd December, world celebrates and pledges to help and empower the people with disabilities, the question still remains how long will these pledges take to be implemented on the ground.

About the author

Sajad Rasool

Sajad Rasool manages Kashmir Unheard. He works as a Producer and Editor

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