In a first for India, Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla last week inaugurated the Centre for Disability Studies at the Mizoram University in Aizawl. The Centre has been set up by the Department of Person with Disabilities, under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
“I feel immense pleasure, pride and happiness to inaugurate the Centre for Disability Studies in our very own state,” CM Thanhawla said, adding how everyday activities are more challenging for the differently-abled in a hilly state like Mizoram. The CM also expressed that the government is “trying its best to meet the needs and tackle the problems” of the differently-abled.
The Centre will offer two-week short-term courses, a post-graduate diploma in a subject related to disability and will also conduct several research works in the field.
The centre is first in India to focus on disability studies.
The idea of a disability studies centre, the construction for which was completed in June, was first brought up by Dr Henry Z. Pachuau, assistant professor at the Department of Social Work in the University. In 2009, he had started work on a research project on the daily lives and challenges of the differently-abled. “The aim is to give differently-abled people equal opportunities,” Dr Pachuau said.
The launch of the centre along with CM was attended by Union Minister of State, Social Justice & Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar.