Varun Vidyarthi was a Keynote Speaker at the 2014 Partners for Inclusion Conference ‘Everyone Matters’ in Kilmarnock, Scotland.
In his address to the Partners for Inclusion Conference; Varun said the need for people to have greater control of their lives was relevant in many contexts, be it in rural India or in a Western country such as Scotland. The audience – made up of officials from both local and national government, service providers along with people who use services and their families – heard Varun speak about the importance of control in your life.
He said that key to this is being able to identify your own dream and deeper purpose in life. This personal vision comes from self-reflection and allows the individual to collaborate more effectively with other’s to achieve a collective vision. In this way people are more able to find fulfilment that does not just benefit themself but also benefits the community around them. He suggested that external funding, if directed at the wrong things, could hinder this process by taking power away from individuals and communities to transform themselves.
One local government official speaking after the address said:
‘ Varun’s presentation was inspiring and gave a fresh perspective on the challenges we are facing. Varun highlighted that reducing government budgets, as well as bringing challenges, brings opportunities and we need to have more faith in the capacity of people with disabilities. With a little bit of the right kind of help, people can flourish and meet many of their own and their community’s needs.’