I Am Different but yet Able:
Today being world disability day, I wonder how many people in the world are disabled?,Rather let me reframe it as invisibly disabled!
If you were to go by Google Statistics, it says one billion or 15% of the world’s population experiences some form of disability.
I would like to ask my readers a question here.
When was the last time you faced a difficulty and how did you feel?
Ever experienced a back pain or a break up ? Am sure you will agree with me that owing to back pain there are a number of things which we cannot perform even though they may appear to be simple. Something as simple as bending down and picking up things seems an impossible task to achieve. (Just been through it so couldn’t help sharing ):)
And most of us would agree that the pain we feel owing to loss of our loved ones, the emotional trauma that one goes through actually hampers our communication and isolates us from the others. Isn’t this what Disability is all about then- Not being able to perform daily tasks, inability to communicate , feeling of isolation, low self esteem
So if we all feel disable at some point or the other, then why is it that we need to be reminded to observe World Disability Day and think of ways to include the disabled? Aren’t we all experiencing disability at some point or the other?
Everyday when I read news paper , I am suddenly reminded of the horrendous crime against women that has been on a rise , in that case we should also celebrate crime day/ rape day in order to be reminded of these issues, which are yet to be tackled.
Thinking about days, let’s not add more days to the calendars and mark it , rather mark the calendars with days that lead to a change- A change in thought, A change in action, A change in community, A change in culture, A change in school, A change in the world! Yes go ahead make your calendar and mark these days with your students.
I feel as educators we are also privileged to be dealing with the population which has the maximum potential to perform and bring about a change (am not referring to exam performance though). Let us begin by inviting a person with disability to share his / her own life experience with the children thus learning from their success and failures, than inviting industry experts. Its only when education includes the Disabled can the society learn to include them and provide basic amenities in every mall, theatre and parks, which are currently not easily accessible.
If we can create opportunities to help them understand the essence of the term disability rather than the dictionary meaning, would it help. One such NGO (Trinayani) is actually bringing about inclusion through their monthly meet ups. You could watch the short video on inclusive meet ups and host them with your students as well.
It’s time we move away from the BECHARA attitude to the BHAICHARA attitude towards one and all! Join the dots and we are all ABLE J