New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) People with disabilities must be given equal opportunities to contribute to society and treated more sensitively, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Kumari Selja said here Thursday.
"People with disability must be given opportunities to contribute equally to the society... As a society, all of us have to become sensitive partners with the disabled people," Selja said.
The minister was speaking at the National Convention for Youth with Disabilities organised by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People. The event saw participation from disabled students from various colleges and universities across the country.
Calling the disabled students "future role models", Selja said they would have to excel in whatever field they opt for to become its brand ambassadors.
"Your story will create awareness and help break stereotypes that charity and sympathy are related to disability," she said.
She added that people in India are not as sensitive towards the disabled and even within families the disabled member is considered as a burden.
Speaking about the welfare measures, Selja said her ministry has urged the government to allocate in the 12th Five Year Plan document three percent of the total resources to the disabled.
"Major expansions" will take place under the 12th Plan document that includes preventing discrimination against disabled people at work place and providing them loans for education as well as buying assistive devices like screen readers or artificial lenses, she said.