Campaigning for greater inclusion
As a woman with deafblindness, Shruti is committed to campaigning for greater inclusion of people with deafblindness. Shruti’s advocacy journey first began when, as a young girl, she took part in a programme run by Sense International India.
Now, Shruti is employed as an advocate for people with deafblindness, leading networks of other young people to campaign for their rights. Last year, Shruti spoke at the Global Disability Summit and attended the UN World Data Forum with Asha Patwal. At the World Data Forum, Shruti highlighted the dual discrimination that women and girls with disabilities face:
“As women, we are already disadvantaged, and when we have a disability such as deafblindness, which can cut individuals off from the world, the issues and challenges multiply.”
Shruti highlighted the importance of counting women with deafblindness in national censuses. This is imperative to ensuring women and girls with disabilities are recognised in national policies, so they are included in education, healthcare systems and employment. The experience had a huge impact on Shruti who said:
“I think everyone has one of those defining moments, where they learn to believe in themselves, and it completely changes them – that is what happened with me on my trip to Bern. I feel completely changed and I am more sure of myself than I ever was.”