Everyone is equal

Years ago a film was made with the title Children of a Lesser God. The heroine in this film was a mute lady. Perhaps the producers of this film hold the view that handicapped people are children of a lesser God. This is a false notion, many people protested against this thing.

We are all equal and children of the same God. To show them respect they are referred to as physically or mentally challenged.

Inspirational stories of differently abled people:

Divya Arora is spastic. Every movement, even walking, talking and painting is extremely difficult for her. She studied sociology at Lady Sri Ram College at New Delhi. She scored 86.5% in class XII. She swims, rides horses, writes poetry, paints, and is a theater director. She is fluent in French.

R.S. Chouhan lost his sight at the age of four due to small pox. But he did his MA (political science), M.Ed, diploma in special education and diploma in the rehabilitation of the handicapped. He has written two books, one in English, the other in Hindi, and dedicates his life to the service of people like himself.

For more info on this visit: https://motivationpedia.com/handicaps/

Wasim Kapoor never went to school. He was crippled at the age of six months when he fell out of his bed. He passed matriculation as a private candidate and became the renowned painter he is today.

Laishram Esheihanbi of Manipur has been unable to use her hands since childhood. She learned to use her feet to do beautiful embroidery. She even threads her own needles using her toes alone.

Four Indian athletes participated in the Paralympics held at Sydney soon after the normal Summer Olympics of 2000. Twenty year old Vikram Singh Adhikari from Mumbai said, “My right leg was affected by polio when I was two. I dreaded the sports field as there would be all kinds of comments. With encouragement from my parents and three siblings. I joined gym. At the Pacific games 1999, I won the gold, which boosted my morale.”

Helping them:

Delhi has more than a dozen schools for ‘special’ children – children who are mentally or physically challenged in various ways. The Nai Disha school in Vasant Vihar gives children skills that can help them earn a living on their own. 18 year old Manu is employed now at a factory in Krishnanagar and takes a bus to and from his workplace. There are many such schools all over the country, but not as many as needed.

Eighty students from the Central Institute of Mental Retardation at Murinjapalm in Thiruvananthapuram participated in the Republic Day Parade in 1999. Fr. Thomas Felix who runs the centre says his mother used to cry everyday out of gratitude to God because all her children were born normal. He grew up seeing a handicapped child next door. Later in life he developed a system of his own to educate mentally retarded children.

“Look at our Son”, says Felix, “he cannot speak, but when he plays the role of Rama or when he dances, nobody will believe there is anything wrong with him. Similarly Preeta is a big draw on the stage. She has problems with her knees, but when she begins to act, she is just excellent.”

Fr. Felix gives three guidelines in helping the handicapped:

  1. Do not discourage them. 
  2. Do not force them to do what they cannot and then judge them.
  3. Do not go in for formal teaching.
  4. Give them a lot of love.

The all India Confederation of the Blind knows that India will soon be considered a near-developed country. One result of this will be that less money for the blind will come in from abroad. The Confederation is now setting up a fund. They are trying to get 1000 schools spread across the country to collect old newspapers to support the blind. This simple strategy alone will yield enough money to keep their work going.

RECREATION

Even those children who are given an opportunity to study are usually left at home when the rest of the family goes on outings or for social functions. But also the special children need relaxation. The Tamana association started a Saturday Club to give these children the opportunity to meet their needs for fun. Shyama Chona, the president of the association says she wants this club to be “a special gymkhana, a place that’s open to all special people, their parents, friends and volunteers.” They encourage normal children to go and play with the handicapped.

On children’s day, 2000, 175 physically handicapped children of Kochi were taken on an hour-long flight in an Air India Airbus. The flight would normally have cost about Rs. 2.25 lakh. The costs were minimized by sponsorship by Kochi International Airport, petroleum companies and others. The operating team and cabin crew offered their services free.

EMPLOYMENT

  • Physically challenged people find it difficult to get work. Groups of lawyers are forming cells to give free counseling to them to fight for their rights.
  • Two universities and a voluntary organisation have set up ‘Circles of Support’ at Dhenkanal in Orissa to help the handicapped achieve their aspirations.
  • In 2004, Jyotsana Sonowal of Dibrugarh in Assam formed self-help groups of physically challenged people. Members of these groups make jute bags and earn a steady income.

ATTITUDE

  • On 14th November 1999, Rajiv Gulati discovered 20 year old Gudia who had been locked away all of her life in a room without any light. She had never stepped out of the house. She had never seen sunlight. She had been hidden away by her three brothers. They were ashamed of her because she was physically handicapped.
  • Gudia’s case is not unique. 12 year old Sonu was locked up in a room on the terrace of his family home in Nehru Vihar in East Delhi. He was mentally retarded. He has seen the world only through a one square foot hole in the wall through which even his food was passed to him. Initially he did receive some medical treatment, but when not much improvement was seen his parents locked him up for good.
  • 26 year old N Dakaih of Medal in Andhra Pradesh was disabled. He was despised by his classmates. His father himself was handicapped. He completed his B.Com from Osmania University and enrolled for an MBA program. He also learned type writing and computer applications.
  • 19 year old Sonali Mohapatra of Jagatsinghpur in Orissa became deaf at the age of five. Today she is an Odissi dancer. Her father says the toughest part of her battle was the negative attitude of the society.
  • Gopal, a 25 year old artist in Agartala wanted to do the ‘impossible’ – teach painting to blind children. The principal of one blind school refused to allow him even to try. He started his own school of painting for the blind. Four of his students, Biplab Biswas, Nishikanta Malakar, Ganesh Debnath, Ramu Debnath and Gopinath Podder, held exhibitions of their paintings at Agartala in 2001 and at Delhi in 2003 and gifted a painting to the president, APJ Abdul Kalam.

According to a survey, there are 70 million handicapped persons in India. 

They are all children of God as I am. They are handicapped, not because they wanted to be, but due to some accident. I treat them with love. I respect them. I help them in whatever way I can.

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