When it comes to empowering this particular segment of society, we as a nation can most definitely do better

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected most of our lives in ways that we could not have imagined. And it is no surprise that the ones affected most in the current climate have been the more vulnerable segments of society, and nowhere is this more evident in our nation than amongst people with disabilities. 

In several studies conducted which focused on the role of people with disabilities in agriculture and on the impacts of the pandemic on people with disabilities, it was found that, sadly and expectedly, 88% of farmers with disabilities had suffered income loss during the pandemic.  

It is also worth noting that 86% of people with physical disabilities in Bangladesh are directly involved in the agriculture sector, which deserves admiration, as does any disabled individual who has turned their weaknesses into strengths. 

The study, which was based on people with physical disabilities in 32 upazilas and across 16 districts, serves to highlight once again that, when it comes to empowering this particular segment of society, we as a nation can most definitely do better. 

Our shortcomings are evident from other details revealed by the study; 12.87% of farmers with disabilities were government-recognized, a mere 2% were involved with agriculture-based communities, 32% have no capital with which to start farming, amongst a host of other problems, including the fact that 81% of them are deprived of proper treatment facilities due to the pandemic. 

The number of people, including those with physical disabilities, involved in the agriculture sector goes to show what a powerful sector it is for Bangladesh, with the potential to not only revolutionize the economy, but also to create a more inclusive society.

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