“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”
Whenever we hear the word disability, we automatically think of an image of a person , of a human being , but who lacks certain “ abilities” of a human being Which is the reason why they are not even treated with the same dignity and respect as fellow human beings. Anybody who has faced such indignation or knows someone who has, can resonate with the pain. “The look” they get is enough to convey that you feel nothing but pity or sympathy for them; which is something they most certainly don’t need.
According to WHO :
Disability is part of being human. Almost everyone will temporarily or permanently experience disability at some point in their life. Over one billion people – about 15% of the global population- live with some form of disability and this number is increasing.
Disability results from the interaction between individuals with a health condition such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome and depression as well as personal and environmental factors including negative attitudes , inaccessible transportation and public buildings and limited social support.
As per census 2011, in India , out of total population of 121 crore, about 2.68 cr persons are disabled.
The most important aspect of being a human being is the quality of being able to understand other’s pain and to do one’s best to help them out. SDG goal no. 10 mentions about the reduction in inequality within and among countries by empowering and promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all, including persons with disabilities.
People suffering from certain disability face a lot of discrimination and also fail to achieve equitable representation in normal walks of life. Be it in any professional field, or because of lack of facilities in many colleges and schools fail to provide a pleasant and comfortable environment to them. As simple as constructing a ramp sounds , still very difficult for many public and private places to implement.
Negative attitudes held by the families of the disabled, and often the disabled themselves , hinder them from taking an active part in the family. Even though many disabled adults are capable of productive work, disabled adults have far Lower employment rates than the general population. Inclusion of children with mild to moderate disabilities in regular schools has remained a major challenge.
The health sector especially in rural India has failed to react proactively to disability . Further there are lack of affordable access to proper health care, aids and appliances. Healthcare facilities and poorly trained health workers in rehabilitation centers is another concern.
Some steps taken by government to provide a better living environment for the disabled:
1.Accessible India Campaign : creation of accessible environment for PwDs
2.Deendayal disabled rehabilitation scheme
3.Assistance to disabled persons for purchase of aids and appliances
4.National fellowship for students with disabilities
Many NGOs and schools have came forward to help provide people with disabilities a fair chance at life , which is all they need. I remember my school, has special arrangements for children facing disabilities, having qualified teachers and staff and a very friendly environment for them to grow. We often used to play together during our PT periods feeling no difference between us ,for there was indeed no difference between us.The experience and the lessons those years taught us in school helped me to have a different and more humane perspective towards life and all the people in it.
Let no disability hinder or stop your dreams. Your dreams need wings, and thankfully every human is born with them.