Post by on Wednesday, June 15, 2022
According to the World Health Organization, there are currently more than 1 billion disabled people in the world. Most of the developed countries provide maximum opportunities to this section of population. But, unfortunately in this part of the globe, disabled people are still suffering from discrimination, poverty and social stigma in society. Though granted a legitimate space in a democratic set up, disabled people have often bracketed as ‘burden’ and more often than not seen fighting for their genuine and lawful rights. Why is this? There is much talk about schemes and programmes being chalked out to bring this unfortunate section of our society at par with others, in terms of rights and opportunities, but till now, things remain as a distant dream. Except some words of sympathy we hardly care about this part of population. People with disabilities face discrimination and barriers that restrict them from participating in society on an equal basis and most of the times they are denied their basic rights. Unfortunately, the previous governments have failed in developing a strong support system that can cater to the needs of these people. In fact there is a need to make differently abled people feel as independent as possible. Many social scientists are also of the opinion that people with special needs don't want to be treated differently; they just want to be treated equally. If any government does anything to help disabled no favour is being done to them. It is the duty of the concerned authorities to take measures that can make disabled live their lives in relative comfort. That is why on international level it is considered as a human rights issue. In J&K, there is a disability act, but unfortunately no permanent structure to address the problems on this count. Those government departments which deal with this problem are least equipped to render meaningful help to disabled people. In the present world there is a good deal of emphasis on considering disabled people as equals and then draw schemes to facilitate their activities of life. The rot in our system is that we are not ready to come out of the fossilized mindset that disabled are a burden on our society and somehow they need to be helped. It is the changed mindset worldwide that pressed for change in nomenclature, introducing names like Physically Challenged or Differently Abled. We might have become familiar with this new nomenclature, but the mindset remains the same. This is the reason that whatever little is being done at the governmental level for these people sounds like help, rather than restoration of right. So at the core of the problem rests this mindset, and unless it is dislodged, things have little chances of improving. It is the prime duty of the government to help this marginalized section by providing them facilities and rehabilitation measures so that they are able to live a dignified life.