On the 22nd of July, 2020, VANI India, a national association of Indian civil society organizations undertaking advocacy to achieve critical space and policy environment for NGOs, organised a webinar on disability and CSOs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The panellists included prominent disability rights activists Sander Schot from Light For the World, Nipun Malhotra from Nipman Foundation, Carmo Noronha from Bethany Society, Smitha Sadasivan from Disability Rights Alliance, Pavan Kumar Muntha from Swadhikar, B. Meenakshi from Equals CPSJ, Dr. Aishwarya Rao from Better World Shelter and Nidhi Goyal, founder and executive director, Rising Flame. The discussion was moderated by Murali Padmanabhan, Light For the World, India. The focus of the discussion was on how Disability centric NGOs are tackling COVID-19 and related challenges through rights-based advocacy and delivering social impact on ground. Nidhi Goyal highlighted the issues of women with disabilities and and the findings of the Neglected and Forgotten report. Other panellists also weighed in on the need for enhancement and improvement on social protection schemes to include persons with disabilities and include their needs in collective response mechanisms.
The webinar was part of VANI’s series of webinars that aimed to gather vital data and information about advocacy with the government on providing a suitable response during the COVID period.