Differently Abled

In this age of cut throat competition, we forget to appreciate the basic privileges that have been granted to us since birth. These abilities are the ones that we take for granted and many a times rather than appreciating them, we are left yearning for other things. The things which may not be that important to our lives. And even if they are, it is more an annex structure to our overall existence. We are all very lucky that we are born normal; we do not suffer from any kind of disorder, mental or physical.

Ever thought about the people who are born with crippled hands or dysfunctional legs or a totally undeveloped brain? These are the people who would feel like appreciating our basic privileges the most. We need not search too much for such people, we just need to observe our surroundings and we can find countless people rendered disabled mildly or severely. The woeful plight of this community is periodically highlighted for betterment of these people and awareness of their needs. But hardly anything has been done to bring these people into mainstream. Some serious steps need to be taken regarding legislation and law enactment so that these people don’t feel left out from the general masses.

The betterment of these people calls for a collective effort from general public. It seems like we need to change the public’s general perspective towards these people. Public is left gaping in deciding the ways to communicate with these people and result of all this is overflowing sympathy and wasteful funds which never reach them. Actually, these people should be made to feel a part of society by treating them as normal beings. We should not treat them as disabled and one thing they really don’t need is overflow of sentiments and sympathy, these things make them feel aloof and make them realize that they are separate from the society. Indian constitution has very little provisions in the interest of the disabled, mainly for people with mild mental retardation,that too limited to school level. Some concrete steps need to be taken to ensure their rights and making the society more disabled friendly.

People affected with mild to moderate mental retardation reach the developmental milestones later than other average children and so these children should not be compared with other children their age. However in most cases it is observed that sooner or later, they also reach the same stage of development. There should be a special developmental plan for these children. Children with MR show higher rates of behavior difficulties, including attention problems, social pithdrawal, noncompliance, compulsions and self-talk. In this case, physical, occupational, and speech therapists and early-childhood educators can work with child to develop motor skills and language.

As the birth rate with disabled children is increasing, fight between ethical and pragmatic thinking is brewing up. Technology these days has made prenatal diagnosis of foetus possible and detects disabilities in a child even before it is born.

Disabilities never make people feel sad, it’s only the people’s attitude towards them which is agonizing. If we collect varied information we will find that many great achievements have come on part of disabled persons. There is no way to predict how will the brain of a disabled child work, many a times they are gifted with unusual brain which make them surpass general population There is no way to tell at birth what these kids will be capable of as they grow up. This calls for a sense of general acceptance for these people in the society. This acceptance has to be generated by Media and other means of mass communication. So as the notion goes “ Differently Abled and not Disabled “ .

Ajeet Shekhawat

[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panshipanshi/2024381750/]