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International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 – December 3

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International Day of Disabled Persons

The United Nations(UN)’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is annually observed across the globe on 3rd December to create awareness about the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

  • The day also aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development,

The theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”.


i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/47/3 on 14th October 1992 and proclaimed the 3rd December of every year as the International Day of Disabled Persons.

ii.The first ever International Day of Disabled Persons was observed on 3rd December 1992.

iii.In 2007, the UNGA changed the name of the observance from “International Day of Disabled Persons” to “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”.

iv.The new name of the observance was first used in 2008.

United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy:

i.The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy was launched in June 2019, supports the foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion through the pillars of the work of the UN.

ii.Through this strategy, UN systems reaffirm the complete realization that the human rights of all persons with disabilities are an integral part of all human rights.

iii.In October 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres presented the 2nd report on the steps taken by the UN to implement the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy in 2020.

What is Disability? 

i.A disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual of their group.

ii.The term is used to represent physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, mental illness, and various types of chronic disease.

Key Points:

i.More than 1 billion people, 15% of the world’s population, live with some form of disability and around 80% of the people with disabilities live in developing countries.

ii.1in every 5 women is likely to experience disability in her life, and 1 in every 10 children is a child with a disability.

Observance in India: National Awards:

As a part of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities observance, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, conferred the National Awards 2020 in the field of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

  • The award was presented to individuals, institutions, organizations and states and districts for their outstanding achievements and work towards the empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
  • The event was organised by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, Delhi.

Tamil Nadu won National Award 2020 under Best State category:

The state of Tamil Nadu(TN) has won the National Awards 2020 for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Best State in Promoting Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities category.

  • Tamil Nadu has set up a Differently Abled Employment and Livelihood Centre(DELC) to enhance the skills, socio-economic status and livelihood of the person with disabilities.

National Award 2020 for Best Districts Providing Rehabilitation Service:

The Salem district of Tamil Nadu and Indore of Madhya Pradesh has won the national award 2020 under the Best District in Providing Rehabilitation Service.

Click here for the complete list of the winners of the National Award 2020

About the National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities:

i.Till 2017 these National Awards were governed under the National Awards Rules, 2013 and provided 7 categories of disabilities as per the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995.

ii.The number of specific disabilities has increased from 7 to 21, after the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 came into effect on 19th April 2017.

iii.Therefore from 2018, all 21 disabilities are included under the National Award Guidelines.

IIT-M Developed Wearable Assistive Device for People with Hearing & Motor Disabilities: 

In the wake of the International Day of Disabled Persons, the researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, (IIT-M) announced the development of the latest technologies in the wearable devices, namely ‘Vibe’ and ‘iGest’, which would assist the people with hearing impairment and motor disabilities to communicate independently.