Kohima, 2 December (MTNews): The State Commissioner for PWD, Diethono Nakhro, stated that the world is increasingly focusing on Accessible Tourism, investing in making tourism inclusive and accessible to all. Addressing an event to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Kisama today, she emphasized that making tourism accessible and inclusive is not only a social responsibility but also a compelling business case.

Nagaland accessible tourism
Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio with State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Diethono Nakhro and others at the Disability Pride Fair 2023 at Kisama (DIPR photo)

Nakhro highlighted the growing evidence that people with disabilities and their support ecosystem constitute a significant portion of the overall global tourism market. However, she expressed dismay that the current situation in the state lacks any scope to welcome disabled tourists. Nakhro lamented that Nagaland is missing out on a substantial business opportunity, pointing out that the state is not addressing the need to make tourism responsible, accessible, and inclusive.

She called on Nagaland to wake up, adding that Disability Inclusion is a smart business strategy. The State Commissioner further expressed hope that the Disability Pride Fair will grow into a regional event in the next few years, inviting sister Northeast states to join.

Nagaland Chief Minister announces corpus fund for disability community

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio announced today the creation of a corpus fund for the disability community in Nagaland. He stated that an amount of one crore rupees would be sanctioned in the next budget to be utilized as capital, while earnings could be used for activities of the disability communities. The Chief Minister made this announcement while addressing the Disability Pride Fair 2023 at Kisama, commemorating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) on December 3.

Rio added that a state-level committee would be set up, headed by the Chief Secretary and comprising the Home Commissioner, Finance Commissioner, Social Welfare Department, and the State Commissioner’s Office for PWDs. He mentioned that the panel would focus on the welfare of the communities and help them contribute to society. Acknowledging that more needs to be done for PWDs by the Government, the Department, and able-bodied people, Rio stated that the Day serves as a wake-up call for everyone to remember the less privileged, empower them, and ensure equal participation in all activities.

Commending the rehabilitation center at Dimapur for aiding persons with disabilities, the Chief Minister mentioned that two more such centers are coming up in Mon and Tuensang. The fair includes an exhibition and sale of products made by persons with disabilities, fun and games for children with and without disabilities, live performances by disabled artists, disability information booths, and much more. This year’s edition also integrates on-site registration for UDID, Aadhar cards, and CMHIS for persons with disabilities.

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