We believe that the disabled need never be invisible anymore. If we can create a society that aims to include and accept them and provide for their needs, we will have allowed them to become positive and contributing members of society. This would also enable us to create a more inclusive and compassionate world

- Padmashree Dr. Mithu Alur, Founder, ADAPT.

A LETTER BY PADMASHREE DR. MITHU ALUR

FOUNDER & CHAIRPERSON

We are all born equal. Each one of us with a unique set of circumstances, skills, bodies, talents and emotional and logical intelligence that allow us to fully realise our potential and know ourselves as we truly are. However it is also remarkably true that human beings have been created to achieve this potential collectively - thereby uplifting not just themselves but also the entire human race in the process. The individual uniqueness creates a complementary whole in such a manner that all exclusions lead to an incompleteness not just in the harmony and evolution of the human race but also percolates down to the individual often experienced as anxiety, loneliness, conflict and fear.

It is therefore critical for the evolution of our race that we create a world with a commitment and action for equality, inclusion and empowerment.

Right from the beginning, ADAPT has endeavoured to create a civil society movement built on the bedrock of social justice and human rights. The overall frame of reference has been to change value systems in our country about people who are different; to be able to tolerate diversity and difference.  Achieving this requires the full inclusion and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and development.

It has not been easy and we have carried on despite the many ups and downs in our journey and have been able to reach out to the poorest disabled child not getting any services. Through our models of intervention we have clearly demonstrated them as people with potential and ability whose contribution is equally critical to the development of a society that nurtures itself and evolves to greater perfection.

We have a long way to go in changing attitudes towards disability. Inclusion needs each one of us to reach out to people who are different, to value, respect, and celebrate diversity. We need a value system which is inclusive and supports economic inclusiveness, and promoting values of philanthropy and altruism in the country through schools, colleges, companies.

Our battles against entrenchments, barriers, attitudes, insensitivity and apathy still continue. But on the other hand, we have been blessed with volunteers, parents, disabled activists, all my professional colleagues and staff who have supported me through the years with earnest diligence, sincere passion and commitment without whose professional support, love and affection I could not have managed.

Our journey has to continue….we will continue building up a sustainable model introducing reformative action and systemic changes constantly engaging with the government demonstrating how disabled people can be a part of us. Our endeavour will always remain to raise the quality of life for them. We will continue to strive tirelessly till we reach our goal – an inclusive society where there are no divisions between people with and without disability, where not a single person is left behind.

But we cannot do it alone.

DR. MITHU ALUR
Founder Chairperson ADAPT (formerly The Spastics Society of India)