Manisha Mary Marshal, Medical Social Worker, Pallium India, writes:
Effective communication has always been an integral part of happy and healthy relationships. But if we look back over the last few months, this has become one of the trickiest bits of our life. People, especially those with disabilities find it difficult to communicate, interact and get together.
Therefore, on the 5th of December, 2020, Pallium India organized a virtual event to celebrate International Day of People With Disabilities (IDPWD). There was a total of 60 participants including individuals with physical, mental, speech and hearing disabilities. Mr B. S. Vinayachandran of National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) provided sign language interpretation for the whole event.
The event was blessed with the presence of an energetic group including the volunteers and team members of Pallium India as well as people from various parts of India, who work towards the well-being of people with disabilities.
Mr. Moideenkutty K, Managing Director of Kerala State Handicapped Persons’ Welfare Corporation (KSHPWC) was our guest of honour. He enlightened the audience about a variety of schemes that can be availed by the People living with Disabilities and also about the new initiatives taken up by the government for the welfare of people with disabilities. After which, he asked a very pertinent question: “A variety of schemes are available, but the question is, do these reach the people who deserve to get the benefit out of them?”
Ms. Jolly (Helping Hands NGO) spoke about the theme of this year’s International Day of Persons With Disabilities (IDPWD): “Not all disabilities are Visible”.
This was followed by an open forum discussion that focused on identifying the major difficulties faced by people with disabilities and how those can be tackled especially during these difficult times. Next in the agenda were entertainment programs by our beneficiaries and the event concluded with a special performance for these individuals, by the Team of Social Workers of Pallium India.
In the words of Mr. Biju, one of our beneficiaries, “How often do people like us get to see each other and spend time together? It always stays a dream and becomes a reality only when Pallium India takes an initiative to bring us together. Thanks to the organizers.”