CHALLENGING DISABILITIES – 3rd DECEMBER IS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (IDPD) —BY DR.SUNIL CHOPRA
“The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug” -MARK TWAIN
The IDPD is a global observance encouraged by the UN since 1992.The day has been exalted with varying degrees of success in different countries. The objective of the day is to popularize the rights and welfare of all persons with disfigurements or disabilities .It takes care of their development and strives hard to enhance the awareness of the scenes of such persons in all facets of social, cultural, economic and political life.
The theme of IDPD 2020 is….’BUILDING BACK BETTER: TOWARDS A DISABILITY-INCLUSIVE, ACCESSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE POST COVID-19 WORLD’. The day desires that no one is left behind. The inclusion of impairment is a mandatory condition for upholding human rights, sustainable development, peace and security.
The disabled should find space in the mainstream and not alienated at any cost.
The commitment of making them realize their rights is not only a matter of justice but an investment to secure for them a brilliant future. Such persons(approximately One billion) are one of the most neglected, step-motherly treated and excluded groups globally and have been the worst hit in current Covid 19 pandemic in terms of morbidity and mortality.
It is deeply regretted that even under normal circumstances they have poor access to healthcare, education and employment. Their wholehearted participation in the community is always discouraged.
The world’s 15 % population lives with some form of disability, of which about 3% experience significant difficulties in functioning. While referring such people our language should be polite, decent and not derogatory. Our words should concentrate on their abilities rather than disabilities. Use the term ‘DISABILITY’ and delete the following words from your vocabulary while interacting with them viz ‘handicapped’ , ‘crippled’, ‘differently-abled’ ,’victim’,’ retarded’, ‘stricken” impaired’, ‘challenged’, ‘unfortunate’ or ‘people with special needs’.
It is not rare for someone with a disability to have talents, skills and abilities. They are an asset to the society and in no case they should be undermined or sympathized but encouraged to move ahead. They don’t need anyone’s mercy but they do need an atmosphere in which they can excel and lead a dignified life. They deserve respect and nothing short of love. They are not the human beings to be teased or tormented but are institutes from whom even the normal ones can learn lessons. They don’t need alms but our blessings.
Like HELEN KELLER many have been a bonanza of inspiration for one and all. They should be saluted with a smile.
No one can dare to deny the fact that the actual pain or inconvenience caused by a physical impairment is much less than the sense of alienation felt by the persons with disabilities.
CHOPRA CLINIC,LAKKAR BAZAR,LUDHIANA Punjab, India.
Photo credits : https://lenexweb.com/ and World Economic Forum