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What is life really like for disabled people?
  27 Jul'2020

Do we ever stop and think about how lucky we are? How blessed we are? We have eyes to see the beautiful creation of God, ears to hear the sweet sound of birds, tongue to taste the delicious food of our mothers, mouth to express love to our loved ones. We have fully functioning hands that give us the freedom to play and legs give us to travel this beautiful world. We have all these things but still, we often curse God and ourselves because of something insignificant. We are blessed with so many good things, we can see, hear, taste, feel, and explore the beauty around us. Sometimes, we should stop and take a moment and appreciate all the good around us, and what we are naturally capable of doing, which is only a dream for countless others.


In India alone, there are more than 3 crore people suffer from some kind of physical disability. These people suffer from mobility problems. They cannot move freely. They cannot visit all the places they would like to do. Going on adventures and trekking mission is only a dream for many of those people. We can only imagine the pain and suffering they go through every day. They not only suffer from these physical problems but also psychological issues. They are often reminded of their disabilities. Moreover, we as human beings, are also not completely inclusive to these people. The parks we have built, the museums we have constructed, the malls we go for entertainment, most of these public places are not disabled people friendly. All these places should have wheelchair ramp assistance so that the people in a wheelchair can easily visit those places and have fun like other normal people.


Nearly 43 percent of kids who suffer from some kind of disability are planning to drop out of studies due to difficulties faced by them while taking part in online education. Because of this ongoing pandemic, all the public institutions are closed which has forced the teachers to conduct their classes online. But, though this a good idea, it is not inclusive for all the kids. When Swabhiman, a community-based organization working for the rights of people with disabilities conducted a survey in Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Chennai, Sikkim, Nagaland, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir in the month of May that recorded the information provided by 3627 people. It was found that 56.5% of kids with disabilities were struggling to attend the online classes and were becoming irregular and 77% of kids were unable to keep track of the online learning process and will eventually fall behind.


The life of a disabled is never an easy one. Every day, from the moment they wake up, an innumerable number of challenges waiting for him. The tasks like washing our face, brushing our teeth, combing our hair, and another daily task which we perform daily without a speck of any trouble, the disabled people find it particularly hard to get these tasks done. Either need a person to help them or years of practice which makes them self- dependent. After getting the morning routine done, it is now for them, like us to face the cruel world. Kids with disabilities often go to schools which are specially made for them. The teaching faculty and the other staff are all very loving and caring for those kids, but not all kid is lucky to have parents who take care of them. We have often read in the newspapers and seen in the news how parents abandon their disabled kids. These parents see their disabled kids as a burden on their shoulders and they just cannot afford to take care of their kids. No mother wants to abandon their kid, the child she bore within herself for 9 months, the pain she goes through during delivery of that child, I can only wonder how much pain she goes through which forces her to abandon her kid.


When we are not able to do something which our peers are able to do, it is obvious that we suffer from an inferiority complex. The people who suffer from various disabilities, cannot do things at a similar speed as his normal friends. Disabled people face discrimination on a daily basis. In this competitive and overpopulated world, finding proper employment is tough enough for us, then think about the hardships they go through. Due to his physical disability, he faces discrimination due to his physical shortcomings. Some people feel powerful when they use their power on the weak. This bullying of people with disabilities is a shame for all of humanity. This social discrimination is never a good thing to see, never mind being on the receiving end of it.


Narayan Seva Sansthan provides an umbrella for such people who are bullied by society. The Sansthan provides them with proper medical care, education, job training, and the opportunity to earn a place in society. They help them and aid them in facing the challenges of everyday life. NSS also provides those people who suffer from discrimination and inferiority complex, a platform to show their talent and be recognized by all. This helps the people suffering physical disability be happy with his life and earn their own living. He earns his employment and thus empowerment.


The pandemic has put enormous pressure on the well being of all the people, and specifically on the disabled people. Nupun Malhotra the co-founder and CEO of Nipman Foundation and founder of Wheels For Life, says that "I also have a locomotor disability and even for my basic needs, I need somebody to assist me. Similarly, for people who are blind, they need someone to hold their hands to take them around. People who have intellectual disabilities need a caretaker for their personal and emotional needs, etc. Social distancing is impossible for people with disabilities in general." He also adds that "Accessibility through media channels, helplines, the lack of English captioning and quality interpreters (is a challenge). Covid-19 helplines are not accessible to the deaf and only very few centres are providing interpreting services." Dr. Alim Chandani, founder of Access Mantra Foundation also adds that communication for people who are deaf will now become difficult with the mandatory use of masks, "It would become double the effort for us (the deaf community) to get
access due to the blockage of facial expressions or not being able to read lips."

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