My Experience with Disability
My Experience with disability
When Sakshi ji asked me whether I would be interested to take part in the blog hop she is hosting and write on disability. My first response was that it is a sensitive subject and I was too reluctant to join in. I was and am scared to touch upon such a subject and doesn’t want to come across as insensitive while being well aware of my true emotions.
Recently I did a trip to UK and after coming back during a discussion with my mother I realised we as a country we are way behind when it comes to the infrastructure concerning a disabled person. It was after reading a couple of posts that I thought I too can contribute on the subject and how our infrastructure fails them.
My experience with disability
Both my grandmothers (paternal and maternal) struggled with disabilities during their last years. In fact my maternal grand mother passed away way too young and she was just around 50. Most of it was expedited due to her disability.
Lower half of her body lost any kind of sensation and it was next to dead. She was completely dependent on my grandfather and uncles to be literally transported from one place to another even if she had to use the washroom.
My paternal grandmother met with an accident and she broke her pelvic and leg bones which kept her bedridden for a good part of the last 13 years of her life. It was extremely painful to see her in that condition during the last couple of years.
The sad part with disability is it is not just the person who is disabled that suffers. Life becomes difficult for those around the concerned person. One treads a fine line where they want to help and be always there without showing any kind of pity or making the person feel bad.
Some of the disabled people I have met aren’t troubled with their disabilities but how hard it makes the lives of others around them.
Indian infrastructure and disability
The beauty with Indian infrastructure is that we come up with something and long after the completion, upon receiving multiple complaints they realise that they actually haven’t designed to accommodate the needs of a disabled person. Even to date I see many new infrastructure including government offices ill equipped.
My maternal grandmother only once travelled to my hometown. And I still remember the pain my uncle had to go through in carrying her on his back. Our trains are not equipped where a disabled person can board it without help. There are no separate or disabled-friendly washrooms either.
The public transport has the same issues. Barring a couple of metropolitans with low floor buses hardly any public transport is disabled friendly.
I see a lot of YouTubers criticise cities like Dubai where they claim some places are not walking-friendly but from my personal experience I can say that there any disabled person can move from one point to another without the help of another person.
Same is the case when I travelled through Europe including the recent trip to UK. I was surprised to see that in London which has such an old metro system even has clear markings inside every coach next to the name of each station whether the station can be accessed completely by a wheelchair or not.
When you cross the roads there are special markings for the disabled person including reserved parkings.
In India all we can come up with is some fancy names on the policy making from the political front. We are hardly concerned or sensitive about how to make our cities our infrastructure, especially the modern ones, disabled-friendly.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This post is a part of “International Day of Disabled Persons” blog hop hosted by Sakshi Varma – Tripleamommy in collaboration with Bookosmia. #IDPD2022Bloghop. Access all posts of the #IDPD2022Bloghop here