Wednesday, 3 December 2014

International Day of People with Disability 3rd Dec 2014

For me it is like any other day but for some people if observed would make a great difference to their life.

As a tribute to all the people with disability in this world I write this article at the fag end of the day.

Whenever I see a differently-abled people (that is what I feel like calling them instead of disabled people, after I saw a TV program where they are referred like that) I am filled with sympathy and at the same time I feel so lucky to have all the five senses. Those differently-abled people are so courageous for they are not ending their life like most of the youths today sadly resort to. They pull through with the harsh conditions with or without the support of the friends and families.

On this day, it is good to note that there are schools for disabilities (impaired Vision and for deaf) which were established but due to less awareness and due to ‘giving up’ nature of the people, a little people take advantage of the facilities. I don’t know much about those schools except through seeing some programs in the BBS; the faculties there are doing a great job. It is an acceptable fact that most of us are that much ignorant. But most of us are not that much ignorant about the need of the special need individuals. 

Our country being in the process of development, it is not able to take care of the able bodied people also; Providing of safe drinking water for all, providing safe motor able roads for all, etc. but from the start only we must keep in mind the requirements of the people with disabilities as well, preferably during the planning stage only.

We may agree that Bhutan is not geographically friendly for the people with disabilities, with rugged mountains and valleys and very little plains. The problem gets compounded for the differently abled people when the infrastructures in cities have little considerations for them. 

Once when I was travelling in city bus in Australia, the bus stopped and suddenly tilted towards the pavement making a hissing noise. I thought that the wheel must be punctured, after some time it straightened back and went on with the journey. On the door way I saw a man sitting on the wheel chair, so that is it, the bus tilted to the pavement to make the person with the wheelchair get in. Upon reaching the destination of the man on the wheelchair the bus stopped and tilted again to make the man get out. This time I saw the whole process that brought tears into my eyes for people out here having an inclusive policy but it is rarely being implemented by the policy maker as well as by the executor. You are not doomed out there if you lose your limbs. Every shopping mall has reserved parking for disabled marked so. And every corner is accessible by wheelchair. 

It is about time for us here to think about the differently abled people while planning new townships, which may not driven by the needs like the towns of the past. The so called ‘choe den gi gyelkhap’ (religious country) should have a policy of inclusiveness to depict so before we need to proclaim it and depict otherwise.