We are very sad and in deep grief to inform you that Mr. Javed Abidi, the leading personality of the world’s disability rights movement, is no more in this world. He passed away from this world on 4 March 2018 in India due to chest infection,acccording to times of India. He was the director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) in India and worked as the global chair of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) a global body of persons with disabilities with special consultative status to the United Nations.
Mr Abidi, person with physical disabilities, was born in Aligarh, India, in 1965 and traveled tirelessly throughout the globe on a wheelchair, promoting the rights of people with disabilities. Mr Abidi was diagnosed with spina bifida and further he was suffered by nerve damage as the result of delayed medical intervention. At the age of ten, he again injured himself in a fall and required another operation. After this, his family moved to the United States and where he was cared in the Boston Children’s Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. At the age of fifteen he started his mobility with wheelchair and studied at Wright State University.
He returned to India in 1989 with the interest to start the career in journalism but he started working in disability rights since 1993 by taking initiation to start the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation’s disabilities Unit. After one year, Mr. Abidi joined a small groups of advocates called the Disability Rights Group and started raising awareness on disability rights in India. A large pro-disability rights movement arose, with the goal of getting the Parliament of India to implement a bill of rights for the disabled. Javed Abidi led a protest before Parliament on 19 December 1995.
The protest pushed Parliament into passing the Persons with Disabilities Act, on 22 December 1995. In 2004, he wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India on making the polling booths accessible to persons with disabilities which converted into writ petition. Supreme Court of India then passed direction to make electoral process accessible. In recent days, his strong advocacy campaign to make the India accessible for all is highly recognized.
In 4th March 2018, the world disability rights movement has lost a pioneer, active leader and disability right activist from this world and this loss cannot be fulfilled. In this moment of sorrow, we all the family of National Federation of the Disabled Nepal (NFDN) express a hearty condolence to the demise soul and wish the great soul may remain in perpetual peace.
National Federation of the Disabled Nepal
Treasurer, Disabled People International (DPI)
(More about Javed Abidi can be read here.)