Candle light vigil on 29th January 2018 from 5.30 pm to 6 30 pm, organised by Vidya Sagar and Pravin search team.
The aim is to draw the attention of all stakeholders working with persons with disabilities and other vulnerable population to a very important issue… Safety of this group while commuting with /without escort.
Right to movement is a right of all citizens. Creating systems to ensure security while travelling is an obligation of the government. Steps have been taken to ensure safety of women and children. There are also systems to trace missing persons.
But are these systems used effectively? Do we have measures to enable people who are vulnerable to commute? Persons with dymentia, persons with intellectual disabilities, persons who are nonverbal (have speech communication difficulties), persons with autism or persons with mental health issues who may lose their way while travelling or transiting to their destination… Has enough thought gone to resolve the challenges they may face while traveling? There is this large section of population that needs focussed attention.
Pravin was an alumni of Vidya Sagar, a right based organization working with persons with disabilities in the areas of education, rehabilitation, training, inclusion and advocacy. He was an employee of Hotel Savera. He unfortunately lost his life on the 14th of January in a road accident when he was hit by a mini water tanker. He was a person with mild intellectual disability. He had gone missing on the 13th of January while going to work with his mother and seemed to have missed the bus while she got in. This was immediately reported by her to the police station in the morning but the case was registered much later in the evening. The search team formed for this purpose looked for him till the 16th of January.
Opportunities to save lives cannot be lost. Sensitivity to the urgency, better use of technology, speedy communication and prompt action by the police can surely make a big difference.
There are lot of good work happening in pockets by different agencies and governmental organizations. Collaboration between different agencies both governmental and non-governmental is crucial.The non- governmental agencies will have to strengthen their network and ensure the effective usage of the available systems. They will have to be more vigilant and facilitate in evolving them further.
The government needs to take steps towards ensuring the following:
Bilingual and Easy Read versions of the current and revised standard operating protocol for missing vulnerable adults and intersectionaly disadvantaged disabled children to be made public as part of TN Police’s citizen charter.
Cross-departmental training module for first responders to be developed in collaboration with disability advocacy groups and best practices to be adopted in cases of vulnerable people in need of help.
Development of a standardised ‘This is Me’ card and priority system for vulnerable people in a crisis. Possibility of prior registration / intimation of a vulnerable person to be explored with target groups.
This gathering is organized not only as a mark of respect to Pravin. It is also a first step to take forward a movement towards the creation of a more efficient system and secure network for vulnerable population.
Date: 29 January 2018
Time: 5.30 – 6.30 pm
Venue: Valluvarkottam, Chennai
For further details about the vigil, please contact Mrs. Kalpana Rao, Principal, Day Centre, Vidya Sagar @ +91 94442 20986
Visit: Vidya Sagar, Chennai (vidyasagar.co.in)