The cherry trees are ubiquitous in our region, and its bloom touches the heart of everyone. The most robust phase of my life was in the year 2016. I met with a severe road accident during my student life, one where I miraculously survived by the grace of God. The crash was so severe that my left arm was going to be amputated. Though I survived that ordeal, it left a deep impression in my mind wherein the thoughts of how a person with disability face their day-to-day life with their limitations and sufferings. This ignited my zeal and passion for reaching out to all children and people who are marginalized and provide awareness and platform to be on par with everyone.
Amidst the personal struggles and awakening, the cherry blossom tree stood as a symbol of hope and signified a promise of God to me that things will get better. The dream was materialized with the vision to start a school welcoming diverse children into its midst. The school came into existence on February 12, 2007. Then the need to cater to Children with Special Needs got more grounds of importance.
Cherry Blossoms Society is a Non-Governmental Organisation registered as a Society by the Registrar of Societies, Home Department, Government of Nagaland working for the welfare of people with disabilities (PwD). The certificate of registration is numbered H/RS-5116 dated December 11, 2008. Further to this, Cherry Blossoms Society is registered as NGO for Persons with Disabilities. The registration number is SW/ HWRS-07 dated November 23, 2010.
Our focus on disability complies with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It takes to a new height the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.
Cherry Blossoms Society covers 11 districts in the heart of Nagaland. We create awareness on disabilities, break the barriers and norms people hold against disability, and empower the disabled through education in partnership with RAISE-NE (Regional Action on Inclusive Education in North East) and CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation).
The Constitution of India ensures equality, freedom, justice, and dignity of all individuals and implicitly mandates an inclusive society for all including persons with disabilities.
According to the Census 2001, there are 21.9 million persons with disabilities in India who constitute 2.13 percent of the total population. This includes persons with visual, hearing, speech, locomotor, and mental disabilities. Seventy-five percent of persons with disabilities live in rural areas, 49 percent of the disabled population is literate, and only 34 percent are employed. A focus on social rehabilitation has now replaced the earlier emphasis on medical rehabilitation.
India’s National Policy for Persons with Disabilities recognizes that Persons with Disabilities are a valuable human resource for the country and seeks to create an environment that provides them equal opportunities, protection of their rights, and full participation in society.