Disability is not a curse, for those who actually live with it. It’s ironical, that those who are so called “able bodied” time and again make persons with disabilities realize that they are disabled and they lack something which is very important for the survival of human beings on this earth.
Based on my own experiences, I can say for sure that able bodied persons do not want to leave any space without hurdles, where a differently abled person can exist independently. This is because of the reason that it gives them an opportunity to declare disabled persons as non efficient, worthless, and incapable and so on. All of the spheres, whether it is education or employment, they are under their control. All these spaces operate on the wishes of able bodied persons. The reason behind this situation is their majority in the society.
Today, with the technological advancement, things have become quite easy for a disabled person in general and blind person in particular to perform. If work places are well equipped with assistive devices, even a blind person could make if not full but, a little use of his or her potentials. But, these able bodied persons remain reluctant to fulfill their genuine demands and constantly keep themselves engaged in demoralizing or demotivating a disabled employee.
One of my friend, who is a blind fellow, teaches English in school. He tries to give his best in the school. He is a person, who had backed a lot of awards during his own student life. He has huge source of knowledge, not only, of formal education, but also, of various co curricular activities. Since, he joined the school, till date, his school authorities have not given a single chance to him to show case his qualities. He is very enthusiastic and a brilliant chap, but, his disability over takes his qualities. Several times, he was made to hear from his counter parts, that “government has started engaging these kinds of persons (blind), only god knows what will be the future of our school”. As he teaches English in the school, before him once one teacher while talking to an outsider said that “what the helpless Savita (another teacher of English in the school) do, how many classes will she take, there is no other teacher in the school who could teach English in the school”. It was the clear indication towards his being unable, just because he could not see.
Most of the other teachers in his school, do not treat him in a way, a teacher must be treated. He is treated as a worthless being or as a helpless fellow. His work is even not given due recognition. These able bodied teachers are not sensitive towards his needs and aspirations. They claim to be educated, cooperative and sensitive. But, when they themselves behave with their colleague in an undignified manner, then what are they going to teach their students? What would be the future of the society in their hands, one can easily predict.
Now I would cite the story of my other blind friend. This friend is an employee of a bank. He works as a probationary officer. He daily reaches the bank on time. Sometimes, earlier then his other colleagues. He is very much cautious about his work. Initially, while he went to training centre, to learn something related to the work of the bank, he was made to sit idle there. That centre lacked the structure required for a blind person to teach. Later, when he was posted to the branch, for a long period of time, he was not given any work. He was keen to learn, but, there was no body to teach him. He was considered as helpless fellow or was looked at with sympathy. He asked the authorities several times, to arrange assistive devices for him. He was very much zealous to work. But, his demand was not given any heed. Gradually, Things solved. Today, he does a lot of work in the bank, within his capacity. But, this able bodied society continuously demoralizes him. He is regularly being hindered. He is treated lower than an assistant in the bank. His dignity and work is not given due recognition.
These are some of the examples, lot of them are still left to be cited. Truth is, a disabled person remains very much cautious about himself. He tries to be punctual. He gives his 100% to perform his level best. He continuously struggles to prove his worth in the society. Rather than appreciating his efforts, society never wants to leave a chance to tease him.
Kapil Kumar Pursuing PhD from University of Delhi Email: Kapil22nd@gmail.com