More than 60 people took part in the celebration organised by Asian People’s Disability Alliance (APDA) to mark the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities at its Harlesden Day Care and Development Resource Centre. The event saw speeches from esteemed guests and performances by artistes having physical, learning, mental, and sensory disabilities.
Among the many dignitaries who were present on the occasion were Mei Sim Lai, deputy Lord lieutenant for Brent; Brent North MP and former shadow secretary of state for international trade Barry Gardiner; Harrow mayor Cllr Janet Mote; leader of Brent Council, Cllr Muhammed Butt; former mayors and colleagues from deaf and disabled people’s organisations; complementary Organisations and other stakeholders.
London mayor Sadiq Khan congratulated the organisers of the event where a number of guests delivered speeches. Kalpesh Solanki, group managing editor of the Asian Media Group, also extended wishes on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Mei Sim Lai, said, “Many Congratulations again on the Jubilee Celebrations and all that APDA has achieved since it was founded. You are all doing wonderful work to help others and I wish you ongoing success.”
Gardiner said, “Thank you for everything, not thank you just to the carers, thank you for all the people with alternative abilities who are here we look forward to seeing the dancing of course. We always do but all the performances we are going to experience today. It’s wonderful to be with you.”
Zeenat Jeewa, the chief executive officer of APDA, said, “We are here today to mark what has been an extraordinary year for us all in the UK, with the celebrations of the Jubilee at the middle of the year, and then with the sad passing of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in September this year. Now we are ending our year with a new monarch, King Charles III and a new Asian prime minister and new cabinet.
“Well today really is a special day in our Calendar, and not only for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Allow me to explain what this UN day means to us all here at APDA.
“The United Nations (UN) International Day of Persons with Disabilities takes place every year on 3 December as a result of UN General Assembly resolution 47/3 (PDF). This resolution invited member states and relevant organisations to “intensify their efforts aimed at sustained effective action with a view to improving the situation of persons with disabilities”.”
The top official of the Harlesden-based charity, which is run by disabled people, also said that the occasion is about highlighting what can be done if the right environment is provided and how well small things can be done to make life better for everyone.
“It is also about celebrating the value and contribution of Disabled people in our societies. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life,” she added.
At the event, a culturally tailored and sensitive performance was displayed by APDA’s young and older members that demonstrated disability with pride and affirmation.