Inclusive local government and participation of people with disabilities « Khabarhub

According to the World Health Organization, about ten percent of the total population of Bangladesh lives with disabilities due to natural disasters, road accidents, social and family violence, malnutrition, lack of vaccinations and congenital malformations.

Negative attitudes towards social, environmental and institutional constraints are also responsible for making them a vulnerable and neglected class.

Especially in rural areas of Bangladesh, disability is often seen as a curse. The Government of Bangladesh is committed to ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities, which was observed when the “Bangladeshi Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act 2013” ​​was passed in Parliament.

For the first time in the country, people with disabilities are covered by health insurance so that they can get treatment at a lower cost.

People with autism, Down syndrome, intellectual disability and cerebral palsy will initially be eligible for the “Bangabandhu Suraksha Bima for people with disabilities” policy.

Even the current government is working to provide permanent housing and employment for people with disabilities to make life safer for people with autism.

The Department of Social Welfare should strengthen its coordination role to reach out to the local level by engaging Union Parishads to integrate people with disabilities in the interests of sustainable development.

To complement the government’s efforts to protect their rights and privileges, several national and international organizations have also actively advocated for the rights of persons with disabilities, organizing roundtables and carrying out advocacy activities with the media.

Clearly, citizen participation has been used extensively in development discussions over the past decades. The meaningful participation of people regardless of gender, religion and disability has been recognized as absolutely essential for development.

We are aware of the presence of thirteen standing committees at the Union Parishad level. Unfortunately, during these committee meetings, their voices are not heard on the various platforms of decision-making processes of local government bodies (e.g. standing committees, neighborhood meetings, project implementation committees, community policing committees and open budget discussions).

People with disabilities do not have the opportunity to know what kinds of disaster management programs are planned and implemented by the Bangladesh Union Disaster Management Committee.

Disaster management must be reformed at the local level to ensure the meaningful participation of people with disabilities.

In addition, create social awareness campaigns to take care of people with disabilities when dealing with disasters; In addition, community participation in the process of risk and resource assessment, planning, preparation and implementation of mitigation solutions has led to the effectiveness of the disaster management committee of The union.

We must ensure that disaster management is inclusive and integrated at every stage, from warning to recovery, with the blessing of local government.

People with disabilities should be included in all Union Parishad standing committees and heard in decision-making. The Union Parishad Standing Committee must raise its voice to ensure the rights of people with disabilities at the local level.

The Standing Committee shall raise awareness by informing relevant offices at the Upazila level to ensure access of persons with disabilities, especially women and girls with disabilities and elderly persons with disabilities, to social security programs and anti-corruption programs. poverty.

The Standing Committee provides the necessary assistance to persons with disabilities and their families living in situations of poverty to obtain government assistance for disability-related expenses, including adequate training, counselling, financial assistance and care. ‘interval.

Lack of coordination between Disability Rights and Protection Committees at Upazila, District and National level makes them ineffective and as a result, the rights of persons with disabilities are not properly implemented.

A budget deficit should not be a reason for anyone to refrain from their regular duties.

By providing equal opportunities and equal respect, local governments should foster a sense of trust among people with disabilities and create a sense of unity among them.

Not only the Ministry of Social Welfare, but other ministries and departments, including local government agencies, should volunteer for the welfare of people with disabilities. It is true that creating coordination between all the agencies and all the ministries concerned is a challenge.

The Department of Social Welfare should strengthen its coordination role to reach out to the local level by engaging Union Parishads to integrate people with disabilities in the interests of sustainable development.

The committees must ensure that they operate properly and, if not, identify the difficulties and bring them to the attention of the authorities concerned.

Arrangements should be made to provide the necessary funds/manpower/logistical support to provide protection or services to persons with disabilities.

National committees should be made more effective in accordance with the law. If necessary, the Union Parishad can set up a small Disability Unit so that it can know the exact number of disabled people residing at Union level and assess their needs.

Union Parishads should be encouraged to work to ensure access for people with disabilities to public services, information and justice.

Inclusive development must ensure equal access to education, health services, work and employment and social protection, among others, for persons with disabilities, such as persons with disabilities.

By providing equal opportunities and equal respect, local governments should foster a sense of trust among people with disabilities and create a sense of unity among them.

We must remember that people with disabilities are our loved ones, neighbors and members of society. We must remember that people with disabilities can contribute to nation building through their innovative ideas and dedication.

(Dr Mohammad Tarikul Islam is Associate Professor of Government and Politics at Jahangirnagar University)