Today the country stands united in the fight for corruption. For me the fight is not limited to the Lokpal Bill and Anna Hazare. No doubt he is the man who has got the country together on a common platform in a non-violent way and I admire for that.
But for me unless the fight is much larger and more personal to each one of us it may dwindle. The fight for corruption has to also include the fight against discrimination that various marginalised groups face. According to me when our society is matured enough to fight together non-violently, then it is matured enough to know that discrimination has to be looked at the highest corrupt practice.
How can anybody justify excluding some groups of people from mainstream life and say it is not corrupt? Discrimination is a practice not only adopted by the government in the way they design their laws and policies, but also something that is practiced by each one of us for our own benefit or to avoid added effort.
My personal fight is against the discrimination of disabled people. Today just because of the way our societal practices, laws and policies, environmental design, technology design, cultural attitudes are, people with disabilities are discriminated at all fronts.
None of the schools, colleges or universities have infrastructure that can include them. Additionally in the way education is imparted its inaccessible to most.Getting a good employment is rarely possible – disabled people are considered to be incompetent because of their physical form even if their ability supersedes the ability of non-disabled people. Finding a non-disabled friend is like a dream, the attitude towards the disabled remains to be either charitable or indifference.
With bizzare government policies like awarding a money prize to people who marry a disabled person, how can we ever thing of their inclusion? Is this policy in itself not corrupt especially putting a woman with disabilities at a greater disadvantage?
But then, who cares if the disabled person cannot use the public transport system? Who cares if they remain uneducated, unemployed, alone and excluded for life? Who cares if they remain as to be the poorest section of the society?
The fact of the matter though remains that if it doesn’t matter to anyone then as a society and as a country we are all at a loss.
There is more than 2% of our population is disabled according to our census. According to UN 10% of world population is disabled and one third of this number resides in India. Imagine if is this large no of people are dependent on the system and public money instead of being contributory to the system – then who is at loss?
Societies indifference to the cause will not help anybody because if they are not mainstreamed then the cost upkeep of disabled people happens from societies money collected as taxes. So take action now and know that inclusion is the only way forward.