During the last few decades, there have been several improvements across all sections of our society. We have advanced a lot because of the digital advancements and overall improvement of our infrastructure, but still, we have managed to fail a lot of people. There is severe disability discrimination in the world we live in. They are often treated as second class citizens and are not given proper care or even the necessities. There have been several laws, but their implementation leaves a lot to be thought about. It is a “badge of shame” for the entire society.
The many ways in which our society contributes to crippling the confidence of a disabled person are-
1. The disabled community is not viewed as an equal custom – The section of the disabled people around the world is the group of the biggest minority. People are living with disabilities in almost every corner in the world, still, they are the least cared for. There are very few commercial products that have disabled people as its face. They are least represented in the fashion industry and thus they are not so looked after. This needs to
become more normal, not just an afterthought for the future.
2. Very few employment opportunities – The confidence and self-belief of a person increases when he becomes financially independent and he has the purchasing power to fulfill his dreams, and all these are only possible if one is employed. But currently, job providers have a very unforgiving nature towards disabled people. They view the disability of the handicapped people as a liability instead of an asset. These people have enormous will to work just need the opportunity to showcase their potential and talent.
3. They do not have proper representation in the political scenario – Proper growth of a minority section of the society can be understood by how well it is politically represented. How many representatives do disabled people have? With proper representation, the problems faced by that certain group of people are highlighted and brought into the light. The Equality Act 2010 was passed by the United Kingdom government which laid the
foundation for the anti-discrimination law in Britain.
4. Disability history should be taught in school – We learn about the important things in the times gone by when we study about it. If we do not study the important events in our history, we betray the hard work done by ancestors when they did something so important. Similarly, the Acts which were made keeping in mind the welfare of the disabled people should be taught. This will inculcate a feeling of respect and empathy towards each other.
5. Equality should be taught in schools – Handicapped kids and normal kids should not be separated. They should be given the freedom to know each other and learn to accept each other. This will help the kids learn about the causes of disability which will make the kid more empathetic towards his specially-abled friends. Whenever the adults meddle among the kids and do not let them mix, they create a mentality of separation and misplaced pride, which takes a very vicious form in the future.
6. Very few disabled actors in the film industry – We often see a disabled character in the films, but most often that is played by a normal actor. What is the need for such disability discrimination? Can’t a disabled actor be hired to play the role of that character? Wouldn’t that give a more authentic look and feel to the movie? Can a normal person play the role of a disabled person better than a handicapped person? Such idiocy should be stopped and the casting directors and other people in charge should be more open to the possibility of
employing specially-abled actors.
7. They do not have the basic freedom – We normal people take several things for granted, like moving around, going to the park, hanging out with our friends, or going to a movie. All these acts are almost impossible for people living with disabilities. As a society, we have failed if we cannot even provide these little bits of happiness to the people who are already suffering so much. We should make the public places more accessible which will give the people with special needs the freedom to move around.
The fault is not entirely of government, one government comes, one goes, but we, the people stays. So, we should have been more empathetic to the difficulties faced by our fellow citizens. To date, entry to normal public places like restaurants, malls, stadiums, and parks are denied to the specially-abled people. These people face a lack of space and they often are unable to commute from one place to another. Such things should not happen in this day and age. We hope that we will learn from our mistakes and will open our arms to such people so that they do not feel left behind.
Narayan Seva Sansthan Seva Dham Seva Nagar, Hiran Magri, Sector -4, Udaipur (Rajasthan) - 313001 INDIA
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