Differently-Abled – An insight of their lives

Posted by Sanchi Saxena
April 20, 2017

Self-Published

Close your eyes for a moment , how does it feel? It only feels normal because you know that you can always open them again , but what if you could never see this beautiful world again and were stuck in darkness ? What if you could never walk on your two feet or enjoy soulful music again ? Life with disabilities can be frustrating. Think about how painful it would be to live with other disabilities as well , yet these extremely  delightful people overcome their difficulties and  strive to inspire us.
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Every year 2.68 crore voices go unheard. These differently-abled people are people with physical or mental in-capacities. They are one of the excluded sections of the society and are vulnerable because of the many barriers they face: attitudinal, physical, and financial. Addressing these barriers will unlock the potential of so many people with so much to contribute to the world. They face innumerable complications in our country may it be public transport related problems,lack of appropriate infrastructure,being dependent on family members,difficulty in receiving education or even difficulty in obtaining jobs .Disabled people sometimes have difficulty doing things that others may take for granted, such as climbing stairs or using some house hold appliances,etc. However, the greatest challenge that differently-abled people have had to face has been society’s misconception that they are the “breed apart” and so are often ignored.
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Disabled people are 100% citizens and are responsible tax payers, however not much of the governments efforts in introducing acts like the Right Of Persons with Disabilities Act and the Deen Dayal disabled rehabilitation scheme have given good results,mainly due to the lack of proper implementation and execution.This can be observed by the huge amount of illiteracy, specially in rural areas among disabled people.Of the total disabled population in urban areas , nearly 67%  are literate out of which only 15% are graduates. Of the total disabled population in rural areas,nearly 49% are literate out of which only 5% are graduates.This happens primarily because some schools don’t let them get enrolled , and at times parents are not aware of  or cannot afford special schools for their kids.This can be observed in the table below:

LITERACY RATE AMONG DISABLED POPULATION- CENSUS 2011:

Total Rural Urban
Illiterate 121,96,641 95,26,033 26,70,608
Literate 146,18,353 91,10,325 55,08,028

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Disabled people do not receive jobs mainly for two reasons either- they’re not educated enough or because the employer feels that they wouldn’t perform efficiently.Due to this , they remain dependent on their family members and face hindrances in earning enough.Most of them also believe that their inability to financially support their family is a major setback . All this also affects the person internally as they lose their confidence and become insecure. At an all India level, only 36% of the total disabled persons are employed. Among the male disabled persons, 47% are working and among female disabled, only 23% are working.This can be observed in the table below:

EMPLOYMENT AMONG DISABLED PEOPLE – CENSUS 2011:

EMPLOYED: UNEMPLOYED:
Male 47% 53%
Female 23% 77%

Disabled people often undergo extensive impediments in finding their soul mate as most of the time they are dependent on their families and taking care of them carries responsibility.At times they are diffident and reticent and find it tough to open up to others. This can be observed through the table below:

MARITAL STATUS OF DISABLED POPULATION – CENSUS 2011

Never Married 41.72%
Currently married 46.87%
widowed 10.29%
Separated 0.81%
Divorced 0.31%

I believe disabled people are beautiful and brave who overcome their difficulties and strive to inspire others. For their betterment,apart from proper implementation and execution of existing schemes, the government should take some steps such as increasing the amount of financial assistance and scholarships , creating awareness about various welfare schemes through television,radio and newspapers, providing appropriate means to make travelling comfortable for them and providing suitable self employment opportunities. Government should also ensure that every child with a disability has access to free education in an appropriate environment until he /she attains 18 years of age. The government should take strict action against those who disrespect and physically or mentally harm disabled people and see that no discrimination takes place.

It comes down to us responsible citizens to support disabled people and apprehend that society’s accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as the physical limitations that flow from actual impairments and that it’s not their  DISABILITY , but their ABILITY that counts.

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