International Year of Disabled Persons

A commemorative postage stamp on International Year of Disabled Persons :

Issued by India850 International Year of Disabled Persons

Issued on Apr 20, 1981

Issued for : Indian P & T Department considers it a privilege to issue a special stamp to commemorate the International Year for Disabled Persons.

Design : The stamp and first day cover were designed by Kashi Nath Raha and the first day cancellation by Charanjit Lal.

Type : Stamp, Postal Used

Watermark : No

Colour : Blue and Black 

Denomination : 100 Paise

Overall Size : 4.06 X 2.75 cms.

Printing Size : 3.70 X 2.40 cms.

Perforation : 14 x 14½

Paper : Unwatermarked P.G. matt coated paper

Stamps Printed : 15,00,000 in sheets of 40

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printed at : India Security Press

About : 

  • One child in every 10 is born with an impairment – or acquires it early in life – and becomes blind, deaf, mentally retarded or physically limited. Because such children’s special needs are not detected, and because rehabilitation services are scarce and inadequate, they become disabled, experiencing difficulty in movingeating, seeing, speaking, hearing or learning. These limitations can also prevent them from being self-reliant, useful and productive members of society. Then they are handicapped.
  • If that one child in ten receives helpful treatment, education and training when it is most needed, every impairment need not become a disability – and every disability need not become a handicap, and a painful burden for both the individual and the community. But in today’s world, that child is still caught in a cruel web of misunderstanding, superstition and neglect. As a result, the global population of disabled now exceeds 500 million – of whom 120 million are children living in the developing countries. By the year 2000, there will be 600 million disabled persons in the world – and 150 million of them will be children. [The statistics given above were considered at the time of issuance of this stamp].
  • The most challenging aspect of this problem lies in the fact that much of this severe disability could be prevented. The main causes of impairments and subsequent disabilities are inadequate nutrition, difficulties at birth, preventable diseases, infections and accidents. There is ignorance not only about the causes, but also about prevention and possibilities for rehabilitation. This is why families and communities throughout the world needlessly allow children to grow up disabled and handicapped. This is also why Society turns away from the disabled instead of helping them by generating needed services and opportunities. Recognising this global problem, the United Nations has declared 1981 as the International Year for Disabled Persons. It is a year for governments to take stock of the challenge and make plans to meet it. In India, we do not know the dimensions of disability yet. The 1981 Census has broken new ground by counting the severely disabled. Sample surveys will provide additional information to help policy-makers plan services.
  • India already had incentive schemes to encourage employment of the disabled. In 1980, the Union Government formulated a National Plan of action that will improve prospects of prevention, rehabilitation and assimilation. Towards this end, the 1981-82 Budget already includes encouraging concessions and subsidies for the disabled.
  • But the future – both for prevention and for assistance – will depend on how we regard the disabled. Children or adults, they are people. If they have problems, they also have potential. What they deserve is a fair deal, and 1981 gives us an opportunity to offer them just this.
  • Text by Razia Ismail, UNICEF

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