Date: 03rd December, 2020 (aired) (Shooting on 18 & 19 November 2020)

Venue: DRRA Studio & Channel I Studio, Dhaka

Organized by: Disabled Rehabilitation & Research Association (DRRA)

Background of the Event:

A special TV program, titled “Sustainable Development of Persons with Disability in Bangladesh during current pandemic and Post-pandemic situation” was recorded and later aired on Sustainable Development of Youth with Disability on 03rd December, 2020, the International Day for Persons with Disability. This program was arranged by DRRA and CBM’s collaboration.

Farida Yesmin, Executive Director of DRRA conducted the program where Shamshul Islam, Senior Secretary; Md. Fazlul Qadir, Deputy Managing Director, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF); and Ferdous Ara, Renowned Singer attended virtually. Mushfiqur Wara, Country Director, CBM attended the program and discussed how people with disability can ensure sustainable development in current pandemic and post-pandemic situation. The purpose of the program was to focus the importance and necessity of sustainable development of persons with disability in Bangladesh. The program was written and directed by Swapna Reza, Advisor of DRRA.

Purpose of the Event:

The purpose of this event was to reach out to people and inform them what persons with disabilities can if supported with opportunities. Since the program was broadcasted on one of the most popular satellite TV channels of Bangladesh, it is expected that a big number of people has watched it and learn about the difficulties and struggles that persons with disabilities face every day. The guests attended the program also discussed what should be done and what their respected organizations are doing for the betterment of persons with disabilities.

 

For the First Time in Bangladesh, Disabled Rehabilitation and Research Association (DRRA) has organized a two-days online conference, named “Online Summit for Youth with Disabilities” on 10 and 11 of December, 2020, in a hope that youth with disabilities get some opportunities to turn around in the post-COVID situation by ensuring their financial security. Due to recent Corona pandemic, the summit was organized in a different dimension with an emphasis on hygiene, maintaining social distance and to move forward towards digitalization. Netherlands based organization Liliane Fonds, LINC, United Trust, Muslim Aid-UK, Bangladesh and Labib Group worked as co-partners with DRRA to implement the program. Satellite channel, Channel I was the media partner of this online summit. After the successful implementation of the summit, the winners were awarded. Partner organizations of DRRA implemented the award giving ceremony in their premises where local government representatives were present along with the awardees and their family members. The award giving ceremony was supposed to organized at Dhaka, near the head-office of DRRA. But due to corona pandemic it was postponed and organized locally with presence of limited people and maintaining social distance and other restrictions to keep everyone safe amid corona virus.

Purpose of the Event:

The goal of this event was to encourage the initiatives of youths with disabilities and to promote their business locally as well as throughout the country. The target was to show and make people realize that youths with disabilities can turn around and become financially independent if supported by all of us.

Discussion Point:

Total 20 young entrepreneurs with disabilities were awarded who registered and participated in the Online Summit for Youths with Disabilities, 2020. Among 157 youths with disabilities, top 20 were selected by externals and later awarded, so that the selection procedure remains fair, transparent and gives equal opportunity to every participant. Youths with different types of disabilities have won this prize which gives us hope that no disability can be a barrier towards the path of success if tries their best to overcome the disability.

A round table discussion meeting was held on 7th December 2019, at the Bureau of Non-Formal Education (BNFE) conference hall, Dhaka. Mr. Tapon Kumar Ghosh, Additional Secretary & Director General of Bureau of Non-Formal Education (BNFE) grace the event as Chief Guest.  A declaration came from the Chief Guest speech that “In the upcoming program of BNFE the inclusion of the children with disabilities will be ensured in the Children Learning Center (CLC) in the union and upazila level”. Higher officials of BNFE was also attended the round table discussion and gave their valuable inputs for the inclusion of children with disabilities in the “Second Chance Education”. The Executive Director of DRRA, Ms. Farida Yesmin chaired the round table discussion.

On Thursday, 21st March, annual celebration of “World Down Syndrome” day was held, supporting people with Down Syndrome with their families. The day has been celebrated through colourful rally and discussion meeting to build the awareness among the society as well as within the family members. DRRA participated art competition and rally arranged by ministry and took part in cultural program collaboration with ‘Down Syndrome Society’. This day is also observed by the partner organisations of DRRA in other districts (Chittagong, Dinajpur, Chuadanga, Jhinaidaha & Satkhira)

“World Down Syndrome Day” (also known as WDSD) is a Global Awareness day backed by UN since 2011 is celebrated worldwide linking with organizations & charities developing activities, event to raise awareness and education to support individuals with Down Syndrome.

The 21st day of 3rd March is selected to focus the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome, which causes Down Syndrome.

The agenda behind celebrating this day is solely to globally aware people on Down Syndrome and how to provide support through education, vocational training, health care and early intervention programs to live a fulfilling life for Down Syndrome individuals.

Although there is no cure for Down Syndrome but specialist have developed ways to improve the condition in order to achieve the level of independence to live a normal live.

However it is essential to educate the skill sets to parents, family and friends, so that they can provide a suitable environment for Down Syndrome individual to thrive.

Like other developed countries the prevalence of Down Syndrome is also increasing in Bangladesh with time and right now the number is near about 2, 00,000. Keep this huge number in mind Bangladesh has also intervened many awareness activities to raise their social status, acceptance, establishment of rights, education, health, safety and employment. But for achieving all of this we need to work in together. In connection with this many organization along with Government is celebrating this day of global awareness with the slogan “Leave No One Behind”.

At the same time Disabled Rehabilitation and Research Association (DRRA) is also participating this awareness event by promoting agendas needed to develop the situation with individuals of Down Syndrome. Specially emphasizing on providing information on education, health, empowerment, livelihood for the people and families dealing with Down Syndrome.

Under the supervision of DRRA, LAUGH is taking a bold step in producing a specialize awareness program where individuals with Down Syndrome will be assessed, trained and educated according to their intellectual capability so that they can be provided a sustainable working environment among organizations and companies who are contributing in this cause to provide a means of earning and thus creating an individual independency and livelihood among society.

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