|International Day for Persons with Disabilities|
GUWAHATI, Dec 3 – In a joint initiative by the 24th Assam Police (IR) Battalion, Shishu Sarothi and the Baksa District Administration, a host of events were organised to celebrate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities and run-up to the 7th Raising Day of the battalion.
The celebrations for the day included many events, with the centre of attraction being the 1st Charaimari Half Marathon on the theme ‘Clean and Green Baksa for All’, which was flagged off from the Barama HS School by Nabajyoti Bora, Commandant of 1st ASRF Battalion, and Bedanta Madhab Rajkhowa, Superintendent of Police, Nalbari in the presence of Rajen Singh, Commandant, 24th AP Battalion and Arman Ali, Executive Director of Shishu Sarothi, a city-based not-for-profit organisation working in the disability sector for over 27 years.
The marathon, which was conducted as per the IAAF Rules, had a total prize money of Rs 75,000 , and saw participation by 1,007 runners, including women and persons with disabilities. Varnali Deka, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Barpeta participated in the marathon and ran along with the disabled runners.
What was significant about the celebration was that this was the first such initiative taken up in the district to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream society. It may be acknowledged here that Baksa has been largely considered as one of the more backward districts of the State where even basic facilities, like issuance of disability certificate, has been a distant dream for many a disabled persons till now.
The main programme for the day was organized at the 24th AP (IR) Bn, Charaimari where there was a small cultural programme with songs presented by Silsila Das, a wheelchair user and also a street play to generate awareness on disability issues and promote diversity and inclusion. The battalion also organised a band display as part of the raising day festivities.
A number of dignitaries, including Pradeep Nunisa, secretary of Assam Athletic Association, Dhaneshwar Swargiary, vice-president of Baksa District Sports Association, Debika Das, District Social Welfare Officer, Baksa were present in the programme which was attended by over 2000 people.
Rajen Singh, Commandant of the 24th AP Battalion said that this marathon was a dream come true for the unit for being able to organise such an inclusive event in such a remote area with record participation.
As announced by the United Nations, the theme of the 2014 International Day for Persons with Disabilities is ‘Sustainable Development: The promise of technology’, which is mainly aimed at focusing global attention on power of technology to harness promotion of inclusion and accessibility to help realize the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society and shape the future of sustainable development for all.