Make another Tuesday giving day

Straits Times Forum, 26 October 2013 (print edition)

MR THOMAS Tan, in his letter (“What special day of giving means”; Thursday), explained that GivingTuesdaySG “is a special date for celebrating important causes”.

He cited Earth Day and International Children’s Day as similar community-oriented days observed by the public at large.

I have no doubt of the good intentions and aspirations behind GivingTuesdaySG, and agree that it is imperative for everyone who is able, to give back to society.

Unfortunately, the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) has chosen to mark GivingTuesdaySG on Dec 3, which is the day of the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).

The IDPD is a long-established event which has its origins in the International Year for Disabled Persons in 1981, the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982 and the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons 1983-1992.

The United Nations Enable website states IDPD “aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities”.

As such, NVPC’s intention to turn Dec 3 into “Singapore’s greatest giving day” might detract from the special significance of the day that has been specifically set aside by the UN for persons with disabilities since 1992.

In addition, IDPD is not about charity or giving back to society. Rather, it is about raising awareness and promoting acceptance of persons with disabilities among us.

As there is little synergy between these two events, I respectfully urge the NVPC to consider changing the date to another Tuesday.

Nicholas Aw
Disabled People’s Association

Read NVPC’s reply.


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