Mobile app launched to empower women with disabilities
Asia-Pacific, August 18 2016
BHUBANESWAR, INDIA: The US Agency for International Development (USAID) jointly with the Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (SMRC) launched a powerful accessible mobile app ‘Azadi Ki Udaan’ (Flight of Freedom) and voice message service at a national convention of women with disabilities held here on Friday.
The mobile app and voice message service would be available in four States, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana in English and regional languages.
The mobile app would provide information on rights relating to health, education and employment for women with disabilities and also on State and national schemes available for them.
It would also cater information about the legal rights guaranteed under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 and explain what actions a woman with a disability can take in an abusive situation.
The voice message service would provide a platform to women with disabilities for sharing their issues and also asking questions relating to health, education, rights and domestic violence.
USAID India Health Office Director Xerses Sidhwa said women with disabilities represent the most marginalised and invisible section of Indian society. They face very high rates of gender-based violence, he added.
“Giving women with disabilities information about their rights is at the heart of providing them a voice to positively change their lives. Information, after all, is a great power,” he said.
Attending as guest, Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Principal Secretary Niten Chandra awarded Nita Panchal, a spinal cord injured-turned-activist, for her outstanding work in the field of disability.
Renowned disability activist Deepa Sonpal spoke on the topic ‘Innovations in Skill Building That Can Be Adapted to Women with Disabilities in Rural Areas’ on the occasion.
SBI Deputy GM Arup Dasgupta, SSEPD Director Mansi Nimbhal, IAS officer Anita Agnihotri and MLA Priyadarshi Mishra also spoke, among others. Around 200 women with disabilities were present.
The SMRC has been working for people with disabilities for the last three decades. More than 1,400 women with disabilities have been trained by these resource centres. The founder of the organisation is late Ashok Hans.