World over, December 3rd is celebrated as the day of persons with disabilities. Why there should be a day for it? Was my question as a child. So frustrated I am, because of my disability and the rehabilitation associated with it…. My temper and arrogance and hatred with my twisted body made my mind also twisted. There were days when I didn’t believe in love, life, trust, honesty for that matter any positive feeling!!
But, I was a great actor; I hid them successfully, behind a plastic smile of duty. A sense of loyalty to pay back to the upbringing I have received, the courage so engraved like a strict lessons by my grandmother barely stayed me afloat. But the inner turmoil is always on!
The journey from WHY ME? WHY ME?? …to….WHY NOT ME? WHY CANT ME? Is not an easy journey that can be fitted nicely in an article, but I wish to try that for various reasons….
I remember today..
The day I came to know I can’t walk normal
The day I learned that I can’t dance
the days my parents feared I cant talk let alone sing..
The day I pleaded my mother to get my uterus removed as I can’t bear pain as woman and disabled
The days I have to spend on bed just looking at ceiling without a pillow for two long years
The days of holidays when every child goes for vacation, spent in hospital in two white gowns and bundle of surgical sutures!
The days when every part of my body pains unbearably with just a touch or wisp of air!
The day when they used to eliminate my name in every competition I wish to take part- just they can’t give me access!
The days when people used to conveniently forget my name when they wish to travel or social functions!
The days when some people consider at least male disabled is better in family than female disabled!
The day I wanted to die without bearing sheer physical and mental pain of disability & exclusion!
The day I wanted to vanish with shame when people tried to cheat you emotionally with just an arrogant understanding that “ what this disabled person can do!”
Oh! Feels so heavy to think again..! To wheel down the memory lane… When I wanted to die a friend said..Why you wanted to die? I said “I want to end this pain and humiliation!!” she said-“what about future Pleasure and Love, you wish to rob yourself of that?” for that I have no answer than
STARTED LIVING WITH RESPECT AND DIGNITY AND WAIT FOR REAL LOVE WITH POSITIVE ATTITUDE!
See the confidence the above sentence creates in anyone!
So today I remember the following:
the days I sang for my self and helped many..
The day I met my love
The day I could propose my feelings to him.. Without worrying about rejection
The day I handled unknown pressure that I can’t travel alone to United States and live there
The day subtle criticism about being independent is nipped at the bud…
The days I traveled in USA relatively alone
The day I chose Social Service as my profession
The day I started writing..
The time when counseling families and persons with disabilities gave me immense joy..
The day I started my NGO for persons with disabilities and poor..
The days we are taking rejections together as a team… And still trying to help persons with disabilities
The confidence they feel just looking at me and my husband..
The life I chose to live… Not as a pity but as an equal opportunity!!
The reason I am living and writing and helping many like me is a manifestation of inclusion. It’s not just story of me… it’s the life of many persons with disabilities…
You may ask what I want out of this…
I want YOU to…
· Treat disability as natural and normal
· Give them equal opportunities
· Love them as they are… they will tell you what beauty is!
· Teach them their rights.. no big difference than human rights
· Include them in the development
· Help them grow, so the development picture completes!
· Don’t rob them of life’s basic pleasures like sex, marriage, children and love associated with all!
· LET THEM LIVE… BUT WITH DIGNITY & RESPECT
CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES’2011 NOT JUST THIS DAY BUT WITH ALL OF YOU.. EVERY DAY!
Sai Padma://IPR: All rights reserved