The South Asian Times

23 July 2018 02:04 AM

Disabled Delhi artist asks UN for digital 'revolution of inclusion'

By Arul Louis

United Nations, March 10: A young disabled artist from Delhi has asked UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Miroslav Lajcak to create a "revolution of inclusion" for the deaf by using the advances in digital technology.

Lajcak assured Apoorv Om that he would do his best for promoting the inclusiveness of the disabled in all walks of life and at the UN.

When Om, who is deaf, met Lajcak at the UN on Friday, he presented the UNGA President with a portrait he drew of him.

Currently enrolled in an architecture course in Delhi, Om, 23, is an activist who advocates for the inclusiveness of persons with disabilities.

He told Lajcak that he wanted to make people aware of the possibilities of "e-world's technological devices" that can enable inclusiveness in society of people with disabilities, especially the deaf people.

Digital technologies can promote education in an inclusive setting for all with the disabled and the others studying together, but not enough was being done to make them available everywhere, he said.

"This can make a revolution of inclusion in the whole world."

Lajcak said: "Trust me, that is one of the issues that we are trying to address."

The rights of the disabled and the promotion of their inclusiveness are part of several UN Sustainable Development Goals.

To demonstrate the digital possibilities for the deaf, Om used a mobile phone app on which he typed his part of the conversation while it converted Lajcak's spoken part into text for him to read.

The General Assembly would be the platform to promote the idea that technological solutions for the disabled must made universally available, Om said.

Lajcak responded: "I will do my best to bring it to the General Assembly."

As for the UN itself, Lajcak said: "I know the UN should be doing a better job to be more accessible to the people with disabilities."

More use of subtitles for videos of UN meetings for example, could be a solution, he said.

Om has drawn portraits of several international leaders and presented to them in his campaign for the disabled. They include former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Ronny Abraham, the president of the world court.

Update: 10 March, 2018

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