Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday chose to underline that people with special needs require empathy and not sympathy.
He also stressed upon the need to change societal norms through intensive awareness campaigns to remove the stigma attached to disability.
The Vice-President stated this on the occasion International Day of Persons with Disabilities while addressing a gathering after presenting the 72 National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
Stating that the society has a duty towards fellow human beings to make them lead good quality lives with dignity, he said: “One must learn to recognize the valuable human assets we have in persons with disabilities.”
The Vice-President also called upon the people to rededicate to the cause of less fortunate.
He also stressed upon the need to provide appropriate career and life-enhancing policies and measures to boost their self-confidence so that the people with special needs can lead a dignified life.
A number of actions with speed and sincerity were needed to build an inclusive society. Government has taken a number of initiatives to systematically address the challenges that they face, there is still a long way to go, he added.
Also present on the occasion were Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, the Ministers of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale, Vijay Sampla, Krishan Pal Gurjar .