Actor John Abraham on Friday urged people to lend a hand to those with disabilities going through difficult conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 47-year-old star re-posted a message by Deaf Child Worldwide and Handicap International (HI) on Twitter. Abraham urged people to stand in support of people with disabilities, and make sure that they are not left behind. He tweeted, “With the number of #COVID19 cases increasing every day in #India it is very important people with disabilities are not left behind & get the support they need.”
The ‘Batla House’ star shared a picture with the guidelines to support the specially-abled. The note read, “As coronavirus spreads, people with disabilities are at heightened risk. Approximately 30 million Indians live with disabilities and face barriers in their daily lives. Physical distancing and self-isolation are impossible for people with disabilities who depend on the support of others to dress, bathe and eat. We need to ensure their right to protection and safety during the ongoing pandemic and request to consider the following points.”
Disabled people and their carers need to understand how the virus is transmitted between people and what they should do to reduce the chance of infection, e.g. physical distancing and hygiene. As the lockdown is enforced, we have to be aware of how this might affect some disabled people e.g. an autistic person who finds confined spaces indoors very disturbing will need to spend time standing outdoors.
In public communication, please take measures so that disabled people can also understand your messages, eg Braille for the blind or sign language or written text for the deaf.
As essential supplies are distributed. For example — food, masks, gloves and virus testing, we need to ask ‘will disabled people be able to obtain these? Example, can a person in a wheelchair reach the food distribution centre or the testing centre?’
The guidelines also included directions for community members, workers and officials as they need to be alert for warning signs because, during lockdown at home, some disabled people and particularly children with disabilities are at increased risk of abuse and trauma.