Eliminating discriminatory tendencies against Divyaangjan should be the first step in empowering them: Vice President

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New Delhi: The Vice President, Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu said today that the empowerment of differently abled persons should start with the complete and total annihilation of discriminatory tendencies against them.

He was addressing the gathering at “Miracle on Wheels”, a cultural performance presented by differently abled persons, organized by the PushpviharAyyappaSewaSamithi in New Delhi today.

The Vice President expressed his deep appreciation for the “Miracle on wheels” performers and said that the wonderful and multitalented group of individuals has been showing the world that no disability can tie them down and conquer their spirits.

He applauded the community welfare initiatives and social service activities undertaken by the PushpviharAyyappaSevaSamithiand said that the idea of community welfare formed the core of India’s social ethos.‘“Sarvejanahsukhinobhavantu” has been the underlying theme of Indian philosophical thought. Caring and sharing has been at the centre of our cultural tradition’, he added.

Speaking of the several initiatives undertaken by the union and various State Governments for the welfare of differently-abled people, the Vice President asserted that it should be the collective responsibility of the government and the society to support Divyangjan and empower them to lead a dignified life.

Shri. Naidu emphasized that differently-abled people need is empathy, encouragement, facilitation and empowerment.He stated that Eliminating discriminatory tendencies against Divyaangjanshould be the first step in empowering them. ‘As a society, we need to ensure that no stigma is attached to disability and learn to recognize the valuable human assets we have in people with special needs’, he added.

The Vice President said that India is a cultural treasure house we can all be proud of. He made an earnest appeal to one and all to preserve and augment India’s cultural heritage and to promote the message of peace, compassion and inclusion that is at the heart of our cultural and religious tradition.

He expressed hope that organisations like the PushpviharAyyappaSewaSamithiwould continue to improve the quality of human lives through events like this that showcase the divine spark in every human being.

Justice (Retd.) K Ramamoorthy, Chairman-Advisory Board, PushpviharAyyappaSewaSamithi, Justice Rajiv Shakhdher, Justice, High Court of Delhi, Shri. Vijay Kumar Dev, Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi, Shri. Mohan Parasaran, Senior Advocate and Chairman, Co-ordination Committee, PushpviharAyyappaSewa Samiti and others were present at the occasion.

The following is the full text of the speech:

I am extremely happy to be present here for this unique function “Miracle on Wheels”, which is being organized to enable the completion of construction of PushpviharSreeDharmasaastha Temple established by PushpviharAyyappaSewaSamithi.

At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation for the “Miracle on wheels” performers for demonstrating that a strong will has the power to overcome all limitations.

I am told that it is a group of differently abled individuals primarily living on wheel chairs who are going to perform today. Through their performances, this wonderful and highly talented group of individuals has been showing that no limitation can prevent anybody from realizing his or her dreams if the goal is pursued with sincerity and passion.

I am glad that the board members of the PushpviharAyyappaSevaSamithi are serving the society without making any distinction of race, gender, caste, religion or social status.

Community welfare is at the very heart of India’s social ethos.

“Sarvejanahsukhinobhavantu” has been the underlying theme in all our thoughts and actions. Caring and sharing has been at the centre of our cultural tradition.

As you all are aware, several initiatives have been taken by the union government and various State Governments for the welfare of the differently-abled people and to enable them lead a life of dignity. Although, many civil society organizations are partnering with the government, much more needs to be done. What the differently-abled people need is empathy, encouragement, facilitation and empowerment.

Eliminating discriminatory tendencies should be the first step in empowering differently-abled people. It should be the collective responsibility of the government and the society to support Divyangjan and empower them to lead a dignified life.

As a society, we need to ensure that no stigma is attached to disability and learn to recognize the valuable human assets we have in people with special needs.

I would like to congratulate the Samithi for including a visually challenged singer, KayamkulamBabu, the devotional singer Shri Anoop Ashokan and Ms Sitara in today’s program.

This programme really shows the will of differently abled Indians to build a strong and futuristic India where every citizen can live with dignity and lead a life of fulfilment.

I am also happy to note that the Samithi, a religious organization is also engaged in organizing social and cultural events. I am happy to note that the Samithi’s main objective is to render free service to economically weaker sections. This is in keeping with the Indian vision of service to humanity as service to divinity.It is also the vision of saints like Narsi Mehta who sang the famous song –“Vasihnava Jana To TeneKahiye”.

India is a cultural treasure house we can all be proud of. Let us preserve this and promote the message of peace, goodness, compassion and inclusion that is at the heart of Indian religious tradition.

I do hope that religious organisation like the PushpviharAyyappaSewaSamithi will continue to improve the quality of human lives through events like this that showcase the divine spark in everyone of us.

I wish the Samithi a glorious future.

Jai Hind!