First Celebration of Carers Day in India, Nepal & Bangladesh
We’re excited to share that for the first time, Carers Day will be celebrated on 19th October across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Our 15 partners and the unpaid family carers they support will be drawing attention to the vital role played by unpaid family carers – the invisible army of people who care for a sick, elderly or disabled family member day in, day out with no recognition or respite.
Across the day, carers will be holding rallies and forming human chains, bringing together carers and supporters to stand up for the rights of unpaid carers and show solidarity. They will also be submitting memorandums to their local government authorities, focusing on carers’ issues, rights and needs and will be presenting, reading out and signing our Carers’ Charter, showing recognition of and commitment to unpaid family carers.
Although there are invaluable benefits to providing care, being an unpaid carer can take a heavy toll on the carer’s health and well-being. Furthermore, when employed carers must juggle work responsibilities with their unpaid caring duties, there are potential negative economic impacts as carers withdraw from the workplace.
The Global State of Caring report published in 2021 by the International Alliance of Carer Organisations estimates that 10% of people in India are responsible for providing care to a sick, elderly or disabled family member. In reality though, we do not know how many carers there are because neither state nor national censuses collect such information.
Founder and Executive Director of Carers Worldwide, Anil Patil, points out that “Until we make caring visible, communities and government will not recognise the huge contribution made by carers and in turn provide them with the support they need. This is why we are joining together with our partner organisations, local government and other stakeholders to celebrate Carers Day and draw attention to carers.”
We have had a big win this week, as the Karnataka state Director of the Directorate of Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens has issued a directive to all District Disability Welfare Officers to observe Carers Day along with us on the 19th in all 31 districts! It is a first significant step towards further recognition of unpaid family carers by the state.
In the week leading up to Carers Day, three of our partners working across Koraput district in the state of Odisha in India, have been celebrating with carers locally. Representatives from these groups will then travel to Koraput to join together for the events on 19th October. Below are some images that our partners Ekta, Society for Promoting Rural Education and Development (SPREAD) and WORD have sent us of their activities this week.
Please sign our Carers’ Charter and join us in committing to unpaid family carers!