Thursday, October 28, 2010

Indian Army takes lead in respecting abilities of the Disabled

Dear Friends,

I am particularly happy at this news of Indian Army promoting a wheelchair user officer to the 2 Star rank.

Indian Army has set example for other paramilitary forces to reward their brave ones by promoting them even when faced with disability at physical level and not simply boarding them out medically. This is a befitting treatment to the contribution of the soldier as well as to the residual ability of the soldier after experiencing such disability. I remember Maj Gen. Ian Cardozo's words, "Disability is not in the body but in the minds of persons" (how one looks at it). He cites his own example that despite being an amputee, he proved himself & continued to command a battallian and risen to the rank of Maj. General. Today he heads RCI as its Chairperson.

Thousands of soldiers are boarded out medically every year from Defence Forces on acquiring disability attributable to service. And their opportunity to contribute to the nation are taken away by Medical Boards. 

Can Indian Defence Forces look at Section 47 of Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act at policy level and take a firm resolve that they will respect the sacrifices of their war wounded soldiers by giving them opportunities in service?. If I am game for it, I can create a number of opportunities for them in administration, logistics and several other areas that involve ground duties. This will be a trend setting step on the part of Defence Forces to respect the human diversity and abilities.

We know, currently all defence establishment are exempted from the purview of PWD Act 1995 !

To read the news click on the links below:

1st wheelchair-bound officer promoted as Major General
New Delhi, Oct 27, (PTI):

History was created in the Indian Army today when a wheelchair-bound officer was promoted to the rank of a Major General.

Belonging to the elite Parachute regiment, Maj Gen S K Razdan picked up his two-star rank today and is posted at the Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff, Army officials said here.

The 52-year-old Para Commando was left paralysed below his waist after a spinal injury 15 years ago during a gunfight in Kashmir, an effort which had won him a Kirti Chakra, the country's second highest peace-time gallantry award.

In a daring effort in 1995, Razdan had taken on terrorists and saved the lives of 14 women in a 16-hour operation in Damal Kunzipur on October 8, which also happens to be his birthday.

The officer was shifted to the Army's Base Hospital in the national capital, where he was treated for his injuries. The Army has in the past promoted amputee officers to General-officer rank, but this would be the first time a wheelchair-bound officer has become a Major General, the officers added.

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