To this today, a huge section of the Indian society comprises of people with various disabilities. Though several NGOs, including Narayan Seva Sansthan, are constantly working to provide the required help for disabled people in the underprivileged sections, India still has a long way to go in this regard. There are many kinds of disabilities, ranging from physical to mental, and they all come with their own hardships.
However, a look of pity and a hushed silence is not what a differently abled person ever appreciates. People need to see beyond and look at the person and not their disability. That is the only way how we will be able to progress towards becoming an inclusive society that treats everyone equally.
As the country continues to move towards betterment, you too can consider showing your support for the disabled. Be it finding a charity that works with the differently abled where you can donate money to the poor or volunteering for camps and initiatives that are organised for them, there is a lot that you can do for helping disabled persons.
What may be a small gesture on your part can be a great help for someone else, bringing a huge difference to their lives. However, before you head out with this noble thought in your mind, here are some things you should remember when it comes to offering help for disabled people: -
Ensuring that you communicate in the right way is extremely important. If the person you are communicating with has cognitive or developmental disabilities, ensure you use simple sentences and speak clearly; gauge their pace and vocabulary and then match your own speech to theirs. If the person has speech impairments, give them time to finish their sentences and do not try to be ‘helpful’ by completing what they’re trying to say. Even if a person has an interpreter, make sure you maintain eye contact with them and address them, not their interpreter. Observing sensitivity when communicating with persons with disabilities is of prime importance.
You should never automatically assume that a differently abled person requires your assistance unless specifically asked. The very first step when providing help for disabled people is treating them as equals. You should keep in mind that they know better than you about what they need and if there is something where your assistance is required, ask them precisely what you should do.
As easy as it may be for you to stock up on medical or daily need supplies, it may not be the same for a differently abled person, especially as many services have been stopped due to the COVID-19 situation, and especially if they come from the underprivileged sections of society. From offering people around you shopping assistance or getting their supplies when you get your own to donating necessary medical supplies to charities that provide support for the disabled, there are a lot of initiatives you can start to do your bit for those who are differently abled.
While social distancing may be the call of the hour, it does not mean that the disabled in society should be left to face complete isolation. Make a point of visiting the specially abled people around you or visit charity homes to spend some time with them and talk to them about positive things like work, current events, or even ask them about their happy memories. This small thing that you do not only offers them a sense of belonging but also helps maintain their mental health and keeps their mood up.
A person suffering from a disability is well aware of the condition they have, and some may even be suffering from a lack of confidence or have low self-esteem as a result. You will do well to remember that they are not looking for your sympathy and do not need someone gawking at them. You should try to avoid talking about their disability and always ensure you maintain eye contact when you talk to them. For example, if a person is in a wheelchair, don’t talk down to them. Instead, take a seat and have a conversation, face to face.
Even if an individual is physically or mentally impaired, there may be several fields or activities where they are more gifted than anybody else in the room. Forget discrimination and speak out against all forms of societal prejudice. Inaccessible physical environments, a lack of assistive equipment and technology, non-adapted modes of communication, and discriminatory prejudice and stigma in society are all barriers to full social and economic inclusion for individuals with disabilities and can be removed one step at a time.
There are many different kinds of disabilities that plague our society and helping disabled persons, wherever and whenever we can, is a great way of giving back. Small gestures can make a world of a difference for someone in need. From the little things you do every day to donating your time or money to an NGO like Narayan Seva Sansthan, every effort helps build a better world for everyone!
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Narayan Seva Sansthan Seva Dham Seva Nagar, Hiran Magri, Sector -4, Udaipur (Rajasthan) - 313001 INDIA
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