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Disability Rights. Support for Javed Abidiís nomination for Guardian Achievements in International Development Award 2009!

One name that has been synonymous with these changes is Javed Abidi. Affected with spina bifida at birth and a wheelchair user since 15, he has with his resilience, conviction and vision paved the way for 70 million disabled population of India in his 17 years of work in the sector.

In 1994, he founded the Disability Rights Group to work specifically on cross-disability issues, particularly the drafting and passage of the Disability Act 1995. He rejuvenated the Indian chapter of Disabled Peoplesí International, a worldwide organization of people with disabilities, and mobilized the emergence of several grassroots groups across the country. In the process, he introduced cross-disability culture to the movement.

He was instrumental in setting up of National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People in 1996 and has been its Director since 1997.

Javed Abidi has been shortlisted for the
Guardian Achievements in International Development Award 2009

You can vote for Javid Abidi here

Some pathbreaking achievements of NCPEDP are:
  • Javed Abidi has drafted the chapter on disability which has been reproduced as it is in the XIth Five Year Plan (2007 - 2012).
  • NCPEDP has played a major role in expediting the process of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in India.
  • NCPEDP has played a major role in getting disability included in the 2001 Census.
  • NCPEDP has played a significant role in many policy changes in India for the benefit of persons with disabilities in India.
  • Prime role in 2005 Inclusive Education Policy for Children and Youth with Disabilities to ensure education will be disabled friendly by 2020.
  • 3% reservation for disabled people in Civil Services.

It is indeed a matter of great excitement and pride that he has been shortlisted for the Guardian Achievements in International Development Award 2009!

He has made it to the top 5 from 95 other nominations from around the world. He is the ONLY Indian and the only one from the subcontinent to have made the top 5. And yes, he is also the only one in the top 5 from the disability sector, worldwide!The award is aimed at recognizing some of the unsung heroes of international development and to share the outstanding stories of local successes with a global audience.

The winner will now be decided through public voting which will take place between 7 - 30 September 2009.

In his 17 years of work in the sector, millions entrusted their faith and support in his vision, courage, conviction and integrity. It is time now to take this vision even further, time to take this amazing story of years of struggle, small victories, bouquets and brick bats to the rest of the world.

"Honestly, it is not about me. All the issues that I am credited with were not achieved by me alone. Many, many colleagues, disability sector leaders and above all, thousands of disabled people worked terribly hard to achieve all that we have achieved so far," Abidi says.

"I see this nomination as recognition of the Indian disability sector and the success of the Indian disability movement," he adds.