November 24, 2016

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Dignity and the potential of the disabled

Myint Win Thein

Some people think that they are free from any form of disability. But this is not always true because everyone has one defect or another, though it might not be noticeable, according to psychologists. Therefore, it not fair to treat the disabled with contempt. All of us are disabled and they are human beings who are entitled to the same rights, status and
potential to contribute to the society.
If people who think themselves normal or so-called able-bodied persons fail to fairly treat the so-called disabled, the latter will feel inferior and later will be traumatised, forcing them to live outside the society for the rest of their lives. We cannot afford to lose their precious potential to contribute to the society as we live together with them. According to the 2004 census, 2.5 million people out of the approximately 50 million in Myanmar are registered as disabled. This figure amounts to 5 per cent of the population of the country.
That is why State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged all to cooperate to help the disabled in her speech at the 1st National Education Conference for Children with Intellectual Disabilities in Myanmar in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. She pointed out that every individual deserves their own dignity once they have come into the world. “Dignity is one’s inborn entitlement. No one, no law, or denunciation can revoke their innate dignity”, the State Counsellor said. “No respect to other’s rightful dignity amounts to self-destruction of one’s own dignity”.

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