IMPHAL, Nov 17: The State Platform of Disabled People’s Organisations (SPDPO) is miffed with the Government for not providing a single stall for differently abled persons at the Manipur Sangai Festival. This is inspite of appeals they made, it said.
In a written statement to the media, SPDPO asked, “In any major event of the State, we are not provided a place and often neglected. We have to ask and fight for a stall every year during the Sangai Festival.”
SPDPO said it had written to the Tourism Department a month before to allocate a stall dedicated to differently abled persons.
“Is it not possible at all to provide a stall for disabled persons at the Sangai Festival, which is one of the largest festivals in Manipur?” it asked lamenting that the differently abled persons have always been ignored by the Government in any major event.
In 2019 Sangai Festival, a top official of the Tourism Department had provided a stall dedicated for the disabled persons. However, the very stall was found dismantled the next day causing a serious issue. It had hurt the sentiments of the differently abled persons.
Nemcha Kipgen, who was then Social Welfare Minister had personally looked into the issue and she had arranged a stall for the differently abled person. Moreover, the stall for disabled persons was even made to pay fees besides causing problems on many occasions. Regarding this, the Director of Commerce and Industry Department had written to the Tourism Department to reimburse the fees. However, the money has not been reimbursed till today, SPDPO said.
This year, it had appealed to the Tourism Department to allocate them two stalls.
Differently abled persons/disabled persons are also part of the society and they should be treated as such. They should be given appropriate representation. Unfortunately, they have to fight for everything, said SPDPO.
If the Government truly cares for the differently abled persons, it should do the needful and provide them whatever they are entitled to without them having to ask, it said.