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Since 1992, after the end of observing a decade for disabled persons(1983 -1992) , every year, December 3 is being celebrated as ‘ international day of disabled persons’ and many events felicitating disabled persons has become common in India as in other countries. According to disability statistics, around 10% of total world population or around 650 million suffer some form of disability. ( www.disabled-world.com). Acording to WHO world disability report ( www.who.int..), which was the first ever published report on the state of disabled persons elaborately, about 15% or over 1 billion live with some form of disability. Thus, the number is more than the previous WHO estimates of 10%

Pathetic state

Over the past one year, the number of attacks on disabled have increased. Many children, women and marginalised sections with disability were humiliated. Recently, a video of a child with special needs was tied to a chair in Punjab ( November24, kracktivist.org). In Australia, disabled children were beaten with sticks and tied  in schools ( published August14, 2017, dailymail.co.uk)  and autistic boy tied to a chair ( www.australianewstoday.com). Thus, education system has become a nightmare for disabled children. Even the Supreme Court of India proposed ‘ Edpartheid’ which was denonced by disabled woman activist Abha Khetarpal ( November24, kracktivist.org). An RTI report ( November24, Youthkiawaz.con) reveals that IIT Kanpur has failed students of certain castes including physically disabled persons for the past five years at least.

Even disabled persons with good academic background are being segregated in public places like hotels and air ports. Even after paying extra money, disabled are being denied special facilities. (Disabled woman claims Virgin Atlantic denied service … May 12, www.foxnews.com). Thus, disabled are being discriminated irrespective of class or gender. While the rich upper strata have to bear discrimination on the grounds of disability, the poor  lower caste disabled ( who form majority ) bear humiliation on the grounds of caste or class too.

Activism

Long before the UN recognising rights of disabled, in 1980, about 200 blind persons were lathi- charged in Delhi for organising protests demanding reservations.( April 15, 1980, indiatoday.in). Even in Lahore, blind protesters who participated in a rally for the implementation of their rights were brutally lathi- charged recently in2014 (thepatriot.com). Thus, assaults on disabled have continued in many parts of the world despite some awareness.

State repression on disabled has also increased. The incarceration of 90% disabled professor Saibaba is an example of inhuman character of state and judicial system. Even his appeals to provide basic medical and living facilities are not being considered. The state is ruthlessly suppressing disabled political and social activists who actively participate in dissent. Ahmed Yassin, (1937 -22 March 2004),  Palestine imam, a quadriplegic was a near- blind and used a wheel chair, was killed in Israeli attacks. He was a politician loved by the people for his services. ( wikipedia). This not only indicates that state views handicapped persons as potential danger despite their ‘ disability’ but also the power of assertion of disabled and their grit in challenging state

Struggle despite discrimination

Whether Stephen Hawkins or Helen Keller, the disabled challenged social discrimination and came out triumphant. They have even expressed dissent on many political issues. They inspired many normal political and social activists .

The struggle is not yet over. Disabled are being denied many fundamental rights and equal opportunities. They have to take the assistance of RTI activists to know about the facilities they are entitled to and government schemes for empowering them. At the same time, they should work for the poor, the downtrodden and deprived sections of society. They should organise and participate in political agitations against state tyranny and injustice.

The disabled day is an occasion to assert their presence socially and politically braving every form of discrimination.

Sheshu Babu is a writer from anywhere and everywhere

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Red News | Protestation

  2. Sally Dugman says:

    Sheshu, you may want to get resources to help your cause from various USA organizations. I mention this thought in light of the fact that many people and groups in the USA do like to assist others, and get them the concrete supplies to enable their causes, wants and needs.

    Here are several organizations that come to mind for you to contact:

    disABILITY Information and Resources
    https://www.makoa.org/
    Jun 29, 2017 – Jim Lubin’s disABILITY Information and Resources Pages. One of the largest collections of resources for all types of disabilities. The pages provided here are meant to serve as a resource to provide useful information and guidance for all people dealing with disabilities. This site is an encyclopedia of links …

    Perkins School for the Blind
    http://www.perkins.org/
    International leader in blindness services, including Perkins School for the Blind, assistive technology solutions & teacher professional development.
    ‎Contact · ‎Donate · ‎History · ‎School

    Contact Perkins School for the Blind
    http://www.perkins.org/contact
    Contact Perkins School For the Blind for more information.

    Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, Massachusetts, is the oldest school for the blind in the United States. It has also been known as the Perkins Institution for the Blind. Wikipedia
    Address: 175 N Beacon St, Watertown, MA 02472
    Tax ID: 04-2103616
    Founder: Samuel Gridley Howe
    Phone: (617) 924-3434
    President: Dave Power

    Maybe you would want to set up a sister school arrangement so that each class at Perkins sends something to their sister school in India. The children and teachers can communicate with and help each other back and forth. ,,, The same sort of arrangement could take place at this following school:

    NC-APVI Vision Resources
    http://www.nc-apvi.org/links.html
    Governor Morehead School for the Blind will educate, advocate, and provide resources for all North Carolina students with visual impairment, their families, …. American Action Fund (AAF) In 1997 the AAF started this program to provide blind children a free Braille book every month from a popular children’s reading series.

    Here are some groups of many more in existence around the world to explore. You can go online and look up free services and materials for the disabled and, in a separate search, free services and products for the blind. …

    Blind/Visual Impairment Resources
    https://www.bie.edu/cs/groups/xbie/documents/text/idc-008247.pdf
    Department of Cultural Resources State Library of North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped 1841 Capital Boulevard Raleigh, North Carolina 27635 VOICE: (919) 733-4376 (Raleigh area residents) T0ll-Free: 1-888-388-2460 (Nationwide) TDD: (919) 733-1462 FAX: (919) 733-6910 E-MAIL: nclbph@ncdcr.gov

    Greensboro/Winston Salem Chapter Resources | blindness.org
    http://www.blindness.org/local-chapters/greensborowinston-salem-chapter-resources
    http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dsb. Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing 319 Chapanoke Road, Suite 108. Raleigh, N.C. 27626 919-773-2993 (Voice & TTY) Fax: 919-773-2993. Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped 1841 Capital Boulevard Raleigh, NC 27635 919-733-4376 888-388-2460 Toll Free

  3. Well said.

    When will we understand the absolute beauty of human life? And all other life on this planet? My view is that with all of the blackness around us, we are at last moving in that direction.

    http://www.InquiryAbraham.com

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