• Chris McMillan

Never say die: Disability is not about inability

Kashmir Times

18th July 2020

Never say die: Disability is not about inability

By Shobha Shukla.

“When my wife got pregnant, the doctor suggested a gene examination to make sure that the baby was not blind. Although blindness could be hereditary but still this does not mean that we deprive blind people from their sexual and reproductive health and rights” rightly stressed Cai Cong.

They may be differently abled, but they do not lack in ability. Yes, I am talking about the more than one billion people in the world who live with some form of disability. They could be persons with impaired functions of the senses, mobility, cognition or with psychosocial difficulties. Out of these, an estimated 690 million live in the Asia Pacific region, which accounts for the largest number of persons with disabilities in the world.

In his foreword to the World Report on Disability physicist Dr Stephen Hawking, while conceding that “the majority of people with disabilities in the world have an extremely difficult time with everyday survival, let alone productive employment and personal fulfilment”, insisted that “we have a moral duty to remove the barriers to participation, and to invest sufficient funding and expertise to unlock the vast potential of people with disabilities.”

Breaking stereotypes

One such person is 34 years old Cai Cong – who is a noted sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and disability rights pioneer from China – a country which is said to have the largest number of persons with disabilities in the world, with over 85 million persons. Visually impaired, Cai has conquered his lack of vision with his sheer ability of breaking stereotypes.

Cai Cong was speaking at the second virtual session of the 10th Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APCRSHR10) held around World Population Day in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):


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