'Government is striving for an equitable society that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities, gender equality, the protection of the rights of elders and the development of children. We must ensure that people with disabilities are given due attention and respect so that they fully participate in the development of the society'.
This statement was made, today, by the Minister of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, at the Cape Town Hall in Castel. She was speaking on the occasion of the celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2019, in the presence of other personalities. An Award Ceremony, rewarding athletes with disabilities who won medals at the 2019 Indian Ocean Islands Games and at the World Para-Athletic Junior Championship 2019, was also held.
In her address, the Minister reiterated that Government is committed to provide adequate measures and facilities to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities. She spoke of the increase of the disability pension from Rs 6 210 to Rs 9 000 and announced changes to the payment procedures. The proposal of the Disability Bill, aiming to protect the rights of persons with disabilities as well as eliminating discrimination against them is yet another measure that Government is working upon, added Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo.
Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo lauded the talents and perseverance of persons with disabilities as well as the key role of NGOs in providing the necessary support to them. The achievements of Mauritians with disabilities, she underlined, have been remarkable in various fields even at international level. The Minister referred to the example of Mr Yaseen Edoo who has made Mauritius proud at national and international levels as a member of Global Partnership on Children with disabilities of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) among others. Mr Reynolds Permal is yet another source of inspiration for all people with disabilities to strive for excellence, she added.
It is recalled that the annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the UN General Assembly. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
The 2019 theme is Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda.