UNGA president Lajcak says he will do his best for inclusiveness of disabled

Arul Louis

United Nations, March 10 (IANS) UN General Assembly Presdent Miroslav Lajcak has declared that he will do his best for promoting the inclusiveness of the disabled at the UN and in all walks of life.

Lajak gave the assurance on Friday when a young disabled artist and activist from Delhi, Apoorv Om, met him here to plead for a "revolution of inclusion" for the deaf using the advances in digital technology.

He told Lajcak that he wanted to make people aware of the possibilities of "e-world's technological devices" that can enable inclusiveness in society of people with disabities, especially the deaf.

"This can make a revolution of inclusion in the whole world," Om, who is deaf, added.

Lajcaj said: "Trust me, that is one of the issues that we are trying to address."

The rights of the disabled and the promotion of their inclusiveness are a part of several UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Digital technologies can promote education in an inclusive setting for all with the disabled and the others studying together, but not enough was being done to make them available everywhere, Om said.

Om presented Lajcak with a portrait he drew of him.

Currently enrolled in a architecture course in Delhi, Om, 23, advocates for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Digitisation can promote education through communication, but not enough was being done to make them available to all, he said.

To demonstrate the digital possibilities for the deaf, Om used a mobile phone app on which he typed his part of the conversation while it converted Lajcak's spoken part to text.

The General Assembly would be the platform to promote the idea that technological solutions for the disabled must made universally available, Om said.

Lajcak responded, "I will do my best to bring it to the General Assembly."

As for the UN itself, Lajcak said, "I know the UN should be doing a better job to be more accessible to the people with disabilities."

Use of subtitles for videos of UN meeting could help this, he said.

Om has drawn portraits of several international leaders and presented the drawings to them as he campaigned for the disabled. They include former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and President of the World Court Ronny Abraham.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)