Disability not Divine, Dont Call Viklangjan as Divyangjan

New Delhi, May 25 (PTI) Objecting to the use of term “divyang” to address people with disabilities, a disability rights group has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to withdraw the notification renaming viklangjan as divyangjan in Hindi nomenclature of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

According to a recent government order, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will now be known as Divyangjan Sashaktikaran Vibhag in Hindi, dropping the word viklangjan from its previous nomenclature.

“Our attention has been drawn to gazette notification of May 17 renaming the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities as the Divyangjan Sashaktikaran Vibhag in Hindi. Disability is not a divine gift. And the use of phrases like divyang in no way ensure de-stigmatisation or an end to discrimination on grounds of disability,” National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled said in its letter.

“What needs to be addressed are stigma, discrimination and marginalisation that persons with disabilities are subjected to on account of the cultural, social, physical and attitudinal barriers that hinder their effective participation in the countrys economic, social and political life. Mere change of terminology is not in any way going to alter this,” it added.

The disability rights group had also written a letter to the PM in January objecting to the same when Modi had referred to replacement of the word viklaang with the word divyaang during his monthly broadcast of Mann Ki Baat programme.

“We had pointed out in our letter that invoking divinity will in no way lessen the stigma and discrimination that persons with disabilities have been historically subjected to and continue to encounter in their daily lives. Exclusion and marginalisation cannot be addressed by using patronising terms like divyang,” it said.

“We urge you to withdraw the notification about renaming of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities,” it added. PTI GJS RCJ SK RCJ

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