On this “World Disability Day”, I would like to share my views on a few things which I would really want to be changed.
Another thing I would like to be changed is having inclusive education everywhere. I think we have to understand the fact that physical disability affects the life of the person just about 20-25%. Rest of the disability is caused by other socio-economic factors. To cater that, access to education for all is important and that too has to be through an inclusive model so that people with disabilities can become part of the mainstream and also the other people get more sensitised towards the disabled people and understand their lives with more involvement and compassion.
Major impact of the disability is caused by socio-economic factors and not by the physical disability itself. We need to sensitise people towards people with disabilities to change this. This also has to be done at the family level of the disabled person. Therefore, we need counselling to help the parents understand their disabled child in a better way. This thought will be better communicated to the parents through counselling that their disabled kid is just like others. It’s just that he is just physically different and so his needs are going to be different than others. But that doesn’t make him more or less than anybody else. This sort of work can better be done closely with the non-profit/non-government organisations that are working in the disability sector.
Awareness (with medical inclusivity)
Finally, I think there are some disabilities which are life-threatening or which make the person 100% dependent on others. An example of such a disability is muscular dystrophy. We are losing a lot of precious lives not because of the severity of muscular dystrophy but majorly because there is not much awareness about it. Ironically that’s also true among the medical fraternity and doctors, especially in India. This becomes much more prominently visible in case some other disease like Tuberculosis affects a person who is already having muscular dystrophy. The course of treatment may differ for a person with muscular dystrophy as compared to other people. But medical fraternity sometimes lacks this understanding and this results in losing out many of our innocent brothers and sisters.
I would want to see such disabilities taking more space in medical books. This will allow the doctors to know better about dealing with a person with muscular dystrophy. Also in India, muscular dystrophy isn’t even recognised as a disability itself. This is a major hurdle towards improving the quality of life of the people with muscular dystrophy. Indian Association of Muscular Dystrophy (IAMD) is trying hard to get this done in the Indian Parliament. I hope on this disability day, that we can get this done soon.
I think we won’t be able to see a thing called ‘disability’ if such things happen. Everybody will be at the same level. And we won’t have to mark a special disability day for anyone like we do now.