Apr 12, 2024

#DoCCDiaries 2024: Advocating Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD)

Pooja S, PGDM 2023-2025  

As part of the DoCC social internship, Rabpreet Singh, Celina Atwasia and I interned with VidyaSagar (formerly known as the Spastic Society of India, Chennai). Vidya Sagar is an organisation (CSO) that empowers individuals with disabilities through comprehensive services, education, therapy, vocational training, and advocacy for disability rights throughout the lifespan.

During our internship, we collaborated closely with Ms. Poonam Natrajan, the director of the institute, alongside Shivani Shah. We crafted a curriculum designed to integrate inclusive sensibility into the syllabus while also facilitating workshops tailored for teachers, parents, and individuals with disabilities. Our aim was to bridge the gap between community resources and the specific needs of those with disabilities. Our interactions, interviews, and surveys gave us insights into the diverse world of individuals with disabilities, as well as the pressing need for universal design to facilitate navigation for everyone.

In addition to our work on curriculum development and workshops, we drafted legal cases for the annual case conference centred around the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD). Collaborating with Ms. Umul Kahir, a remarkable lawyer with cerebral palsy who heads the Disability Law Unit, was truly inspiring. Her unwavering dedication to advocating for RPWD rights and raising awareness left a lasting impact on us.

In the end, we would like to thank Vidya Sagar and the DoCC team, for helping us realise that disability is a community issue and individuals possess impairments, but it is society that renders them disabled.

The Development of Corporate Citizenship or DoCC at SPJIMR is a unique non-classroom experiential learning initiative. DoCC organises a social internship programme and several activities throughout the year to align with its goal that to become the leaders of tomorrow, and managers must be ready to learn and serve in places and communities where one is needed the most.

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