Physical Disabilities: Some Essential Details

People with physical disabilities often find themselves discriminated against. They are made fun of, considered inauspicious, and persecuted in everyday life. Thankfully, sustained awareness campaigns have brought about a positive change in society. This is a welcome sign and can go a long way in making the physically disabled wanted and loved.

A lot has been done for the upliftment of the disabled by governments, NGOs and dedicated individuals. But clearly, much more needs to be done in terms of making their lives easier, physically and emotionally. A recent development in India is the government intervention in creating an environment where the line of distinction between differently-abled and able-bodied people is gradually blurring. This has been made possible because of new government laws that mandate the installation of disabled-friendly measures like ramps and voice-activated lifts in public places. Anti-discrimination laws have enabled the specially-abled people to compete for jobs based on their own merit, thus helping them to be economically independent.

‘Accessible India’ is a Government of India initiative that seeks to make the country disabled-friendly. First steps have already been taken by proposing to convert more than 100 buildings across 50 big cities of the country disabled-friendly by providing specialised lifts, wheelchair ramps and other disabled-friendly facilities. Sign language training and equipment to people with hearing and speech problems would be the next item on the agenda. This would be followed by distribution of motorised tricycles and wheelchairs to provide independence of physical movement to people with disabilities. The economic angle is also being addressed with a proposal to impart skill training and access to easy loans to help set up own businesses.

“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically”

These are the words of Stephen Hawking, the great theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is considered one of the finest scientific minds, in spite of being crippled by Lou Gehrig’s disease and wheelchair bound for most of his life. The disabled people can contribute to the society in their own way. They are extremely talented but need some assistance to perform certain tasks.

Organizations like the Association for People with Disability(APD) have been doing wonderful work for people with special needs, especially children, through their many awareness campaigns like ‘Give Wings’. Children are our tomorrow. Let us join hands with APD and support them in their endeavour to make a difference to the lives of people with special needs.