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Triple-amputee drafts plan for disabled
A plan to give disabled people better access to public facilities will be drafted by triple-amputee athlete Rajesh Durbal and presented to Government for their consideration by next week. Durbal paid courtesy calls to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Anil Roberts on Thursday before giving a motivational speech at the Princess Elizabeth Centre, Ariapita Avenue, Port-of-Spain.
It was during his speech that Durbal shared plans to draft a proposal for a national public accessibility programme. The proposal will include recommendations for government programmes, support systems for disabled people and their families, such as clinics and sport facilities, and renovating public buildings to be handicap-accessible.
Durbal, who is on a six-day No Excuses tour of the country of his mother’s birth, described the project as one close to his heart. “This is a personal challenge because I know where I came from and I’m still there today. It is my personal mission to see this through,” he said.
The hour-long speech to disabled students and their families covered topics such as building self-esteem and independence, coping mechanisms for bullying and the importance of education. Durbal lost both legs and the lower part of his right arm while still a toddler. Through the use of prosthetic limbs he created history by participating in the 2010 Iron Man World Championships in Hawaii in record time.
Durbal’s final words of advice to disabled students were on having confidence: “You have to love yourself before anybody else can. Learn how to take care of yourself. Don’t expect anybody to take care of you just because you’re in a wheelchair,” he said.
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