Connect with us

Blog

Accessibility is not a choice but a humanitarian right for persons with disabilities

Published

on

Accessibility is not a choice but a humanitarian right for persons with disabilities

On 3rd December 2016 the world celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The theme of this year celebration was: “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want” Since 1992 the United Nations proclaims this day to celebrate the ability, respect, dignity and human rights of all persons with disabilities in the world. Since then remarkable progress has been made in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities in the society in many parts of the world.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a set of 17 aspirational “Global Goals” to transform the world in a better place to live in. Before SDGs we had the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The goals were from 2000-2015 while the SDGs from 2015-2030. For the first time in the history of these goals, 5 goals out of the 17 goals persons with disabilities has been mentioned compared to the MDGs where persons with disabilities were completely left out. To include persons with disabilities in the SDGs has been a very long, diligent and consulted work process of various meetings, conferences and seminars to sensitize people on the importance to have persons with disabilities included in this global objective.

Member states of the United Nations were convened last year in September 2015 to learn on the SDGs and promise to work in its implementation in their respective countries for the betterment of every human being and at the same time to protect the environment. All the governments including the government of Mauritius have the responsibility to implement these goals. All these 17 goals must be implemented and due considerations must be given to persons with disabilities in our country.

Undoubtedly, it is an undeniable fact that accessibility remains an important issue which must be addressed and implemented to allow the independence of persons with disabilities to move freely on their own using an adapted accessible public transport. Mobility of persons with disabilities will allow them to go to school, go to work, enjoy a leisure life among others. Thus Goal 11.2 says by 2030; provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.

Sadly in our beautiful island of Mauritius an adapted accessible transport for persons with disabilities are not yet available. The Ministry of Public Infrastructure through the National Transport Corporation has purchased the semi floor buses which are not adapted to persons with disabilities for all types of disabilities and in particular to the wheelchair users. Provisions have not been made under such buses to accommodate wheelchair and instead the government needs to buy the low floor buses just like those in Great Britain, Australia and in other parts of the world.

As a Disability Activist and in the name of all persons with disabilities I make a humble and urgent appeal to the Right Hon. Prime Minister of Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth and the Hon. Minister of Public Infrastructure Nando Bodha to work on the road infrastructure of our country to ultimately import low floor buses which will be of great help to all persons with disabilities. This will allow the implementation of the various articles found in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which is also a landmark important international human rights treaty to ensure the respect and dignity of all persons with disabilities in the world.

Mohammad Yaaseen Edoo
Disability Activist
Queen’s Young Leader

Advertisement

Blog

[Opinion] Interdiction d’arborer le tikka: une aberration!

Published

on

[Opinion] Interdiction d’arborer le tikka: une aberration!

[Opinion] Interdiction d’arborer le tikka: une aberration!

La décision de la direction de l’hôtel The Residence d’interdire aux employées d’arborer le tikka nécessite une réflexion chez nos décideurs politiques, interpeller les dirigeants des partis politiques et suscite des interrogations chez des citoyens. A l’aube de l’émergence de l’industrie touristiques dans les années 70’ résultant à la mise en place de grands groupes hôteliers, à l’instar de la New Mauritius Hotels ( Beachcomber), de Sun Resort, du Club Med, entre autres, les employées avaient les coudées franches de porter les insignes religieux : tikka, sindoor, hijab, mangala sutra, entre autres.

Malgré les balbutiements du secteur de l’hôtellerie, le patronat a perduré avec cette tradition de permettre à leurs employées d’arborer des signes religieux. Cela même après que le secteur ait pris sa vitesse de croisière à la fin des années 80 ou encore entamer une autre étape de son développement à partir de 2000. Il est un fait que les grands patrons de groupes hôteliers, à l’instar d’Herbert Couacaud ( groupe Beachcomer, de Paul Jones (Sun Resorts), de Patrice Hardy (Groupe Naïde) et ceux de moyens et petits établissement hôteliers avaient fait preuve de respect, de tolérance par rapport aux des coutumes et des traditions de toutes les confessions religieuses du pays. Cela dans le but de préserver l’harmonie sociale et de ne pas blesser les susceptibilités des uns et des autres. Leurs successeurs n’ont pas dérogé à cette règle.

Nous ne comprenons pas la démarche et l’entêtement des Singapouriens à la tête de The Résidence de poursuivre dans cette voie conflictuelle.

Or, cette décision portant sur l’interdiction du port de tikka, relevant d’un problème de relations industrielles qui devrait être résolue à l’amiable par l’employeur-employée ou l’employeur-syndicat, est en passe de devenir un enjeu politique.

Outre la Voice of Hindu qui est monté au créneau pour défendre les droits des employés, la Hindu Human Right et et le Hindu Common Front ont poursuivi leur combat dans cette affaire, en organisant un yajña sur la plage en face de The Résidence, hier. Cela dans le but de susciter une prise de conscience nationale sur les excès de zèle du management de l’hôtel

En sus du ministre du Travail, des Relations Industrielles et de l’Emploi, Soodesh Callichurn qui aurait avisé l’employée en question et les autres employées que la direction de l’hôtel est dans l’illégalité. Il y a aussi la ministre de l’Egalité des Genres, Roubina Jaddoo-Jaunboccus qui a fait entendre sa position. Le leader du MMM, Paul Bérenger a insisté pour le respect des droits constitutionnels des employés. Et ce vendredi, la FTU sous la férule d’Atma Shanto prévoit une manifestation en face de l’hôtel à Belle Mare.

Face à ce problème qui est une aberration et qui risque de prendre des proportions alarmantes, il incombe aux autorités suprêmes du pays et autres instance décisionnelles de tirer cette affaire au clair.

Continue Reading

Blog

PRIZON 5 ZETWAL AVIZAZ IMIN

Published

on

PRIZON 5 ZETWAL AVIZAZ IMIN

With such a prison it is quite normal if each month 600 prisoners are welcomed behind the bars. Our prisons have become more attractive than repulsive. It is unimaginable to imagine a country with a population of barely 1.3 millions with so many prisoners. It is really too much for such a small population. If that upward trend is maintained, more prisons will have to be set up to accommodate the growing number of prisoners. It is unbelievable that so many prisoners reoffend just to return behind the bars again. Certain prisoners have been jailed for more than 30 times. We are the only country in the world where prisoners are reluctant to go home after having served their sentences. The recent statistics reveal that 67% of our prisoners after their release relapse deliberately into an offence just to return in prison. Usually a prisoner looks avidly forward to his release and freedom because of the grim conditions of the jail life. «Chez nous, c’est tout le contraire.»

If today our prisons have to make room for 600 prisoners monthly, it is because we have a jail life which is really too soft and generous, where criminal offenders are given a royal treatment with a balanced diet coupled with fish, meat, eggs, chicken, (que du blanc de poulet), fruits and other privileges. According to statistics Mauritius, the State spends some Rs 750 per prisoner daily. The annual budget for the kitchen turns around Rs 51 millions. All these at the expense of tax-payers’ money. Today we have a prison which attracts instead of repels. We adhere too much to the principles of Human Rights.

Can We Reduce The Number Of Prisoners?

Yes, we can, provided there is a political will to do it. The jail life should be reviewed from top to bottom. The «5 star prison à visage humain» must disappear to make room for rigid prisons where the strictest minimum in term of comfort and food is given. Because so long as these criminal offenders are given a royal treatment with a balanced diet, there will not be any let-up in the rate of crime, violence and robbery. Life behind the bars must be keenly felt. The prisoner must feel the pinch of his imprisonment keenly to deter him from re-offending. If the status-quo is maintained, the number of prisoners will definitely jack up.

Law and order should be the basis of a civilized society. The socio-economic development of a country should stand cheek by jowl with its law and order. A country which is aiming at a high income economy like ours must set up the right climate where law and order can prevail to enable people to enjoy their wealth. Today with a society packed with robbers and criminal offenders, the security in the country has fallen to zero. We are heading in the same direction as South Africa where walking with a gold necklace round your neck has become synonymous with courting death.

Death Penalty And The Flogging System

If we want to have a livable society «ou il fait bon vivre», if we want to become the Singapore of the Indian Ocean not only in term of economy but also where security prevails, where people can move about without having to look over their shoulders to see if they are not stalked by danger, we shall have to overlook Human Rights, otherwise we shall be dreaming. If we follow Human Rights literally, we shall be paying a heavy price for it in term of our law and order. We shall have an unlivable society.

We have to set up safeguards against all kinds of violence. The existing laws have to be reviewed and made tougher, the prison life has to be made harsher. A system of bare back-flogging coupled with community work should be introduced for minor offences instead of a light term of imprisonment. Last but not least Capital Punishment should be re-introduced to clamp down on drug-trafficking and the rate of crime.

We have to set up a deterrent to keep down the number of prisoners in our prisons. 600 prisoners monthly «c’est beaucoup trop pour une population de 1.3 millions.» The only way to do it is to shift from a soft and generous jail life to a harsh one.

By Raj Paneken

 

Continue Reading

Blog

THE REALISM : Will Bérenger lead his party again to the slaughter-house in 2019/2020 ?

Published

on

THE REALISM : Will Bérenger lead his party again to the slaughter-house in 2019/2020 ?

By Raj Paneken

   It all depends on the dose of realism Bérenger will evince. With a by-election in the offing along with the General Elections in two years’ time, his Party can emerge either a winner or a loser. With a lack of realism on the part of the Party’s leadership, another iceberg is lying in wait for the Party again. That is why in my last article I wrote that Bérenger has all the time to finalize his list of candidates before they will board the Titanic in 2019/2020. The realism means that we look at things without blinkers. With a good dose of realism, the Party of Bérenger can avoid another political wreck. It is high time that Bérenger comes to terms with the reality. He must stop labouring under the delusion that his Party can face the polls alone and win the elections with him in the driving seat of the country. If he keeps on thinking in this line, he is merely dreaming.

   The MMM has never won a general election alone and will never do it. This is the prevailing reality of the country. Each time Bérenger and his Party had been in the government, it was either in alliance with the MSM or the Labour Party. If he had made history by becoming prime minister of the country (2004-05), it was thanks to Sir Anerood Jugnauth who shared the primeministership of the country with him.

   Today he and his Party would have been in the government again if he had not fallen into the trap of Navin Ramgoolam to torpedo the Remake 2000 which was heading headlong towards a sweeping victory. Today he would have made history again with a second primeministership in the place of Pravind Jugnauth. But unfortunately! He let the idealism have the upper hand upon the realism to make him what he has become today, a mere parliamentarian.

    «Mais tout n’est pas perdu pour lui et son Parti» if he changes his tact. The Party can bounce back after its long stay in the political wilderness if there is a change from idealism to realism, especially his leader who has the last word. The MMM can find itself in the government again in an alliance with the MSM for the elections 2019/20. With a positive track record of the government at the end of its mandate, the MMM has every reason to hook up its wagon to the driving force of the MSM if it does not want to remain on the platform for another five long years.

   The realism means that MMM is condemned to hook up its wagon to the driving force of MSM if the Party does not want to drag its feet again in the political wilderness. Another alliance with the Labour Party of Navin Ramgoolam will incur the opprobrium of the electorate which dumped them «dan karo kan» in December, 2014. They will suffer the same fate if ever they come together again. As for the PMSD, it is simply a wagon in search of a driving force. Besides, the two parties (MMM/PMSD) have never got on well together.

   Therefore the only locomotive available for the elections 2019/20 is the MSM. Bérenger must come to terms with that reality if he wants to end up his political career with a flourish. «C’est à lui de faire le bon choix entre le corbillard et le convoi nuptial.» With an economic recovery, full employment along with an effective law and order, there is no doubt that the electorate will renew the mandate of the government. This is what the country needs, no more, no less. With a positive track record, a renewal of the government’s mandate seems quite obvious. You don’t change a winning team, but you can inject new blood into it. With the accommodation of the MMM (MSM/MMM), the government will simply be unbeatable for the elections 2019/20.

    As a prelude to this accommodation, it is in the interest of the government, if it will not enter into the by-election fray, to give a tacit support to the MMM candidate to help her win the election.

    Anyhow, let us hope that Bérenger along with his Party has learnt a lesson from their mismatch in December, 2014. Let us hope also that the government will take the MMM on board if it wants to win the General Elections 2019/20 hands down to complete the realization of all its dreams. An alliance (MMM/MSM) in 2019/20 will bulldoze all their opponents. With a new mandate with the MMM on board, the country will undergo an unprecedented transformation.

    «Maintenant reste à savoir comment les deux partis (le gouvernement du jour et le MMM) vont accorder leurs violions» if ever a common ground is found.

   Otherwise any mismatch on the part of the Party’s leadership will inevitably spell another disaster for the Party of Ton Polo.

Continue Reading

Trending