Diethono Nakhro, one of the leading voices supporting disability rights in Nagaland, is on a mission to change the way differently-abled people are viewed by others and to eliminate discriminations against them.
Left paralysed by a spine injury in 2006, Nakhro realised the plight of disabled people, and vowed to bring a change, one step at a time.
"I made up my mind to not let this episode in my life defeat me. I decided that I would fight back. After all my treatment and my external injuries and wounds were treated, I began my battle to come back from the situation I was in," told the disability rights activist.
Nakhro said the society's attitude towards people with disabilities is formed by preconceived notions that they can't do anything
"I found out that was the way everybody looked at people with disabilities. I came back and got involved in all disability rights, especially in a place like Nagaland, where understanding of disability is very poor. We don't discard or mistreat anyone in our family who are disabled, but the mindset that people have, in general, about the disabled people is very negative; they don't think that disabled people can do anything. Nobody understands the rights of the disabled people," Nakhro said.
To bring about a change, Nakhro has begun spreading awareness, and with the younger minds.
She interacts with students from different schools and colleges to ensure better understanding of the disabilities, who say they feel inspired by her humanitarian works in spite of the disability.
"I, being an abled person, do very little for the society, while she, being disabled, has learned to never give up. The main thing I learnt from her is to never give up. I can do community mobilisation and start locally and help out my neighbourhood. May be I will start with my own family; there are some disabled elderly in my family. I would like to help them up," said one of the students.
Nakhro also actively uses the Right to Information Act (RTI) and other means to bring attention to the complete lack of accessibility in the government offices and other public places in the state.
Nakhro is a member of the National Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (NCRPD) and an advisor to the Nagaland State Disability Forum (NSDF).
She won the NCPEDP- Lemontree Helen Keller Award in 2015 in the category 'Role Model Person with Disability'. (ANI)