Author- Priyanjana Das
Parwaaz, the fest of REACH society of Lady Shri Ram College For Women had its special highlights in a short talk session on Social Exclusion, with a focus on disability. The speakers were:
Nipun malhotra, Founder, Nipman Foundation,
Mahesh S Panekar, a lecturer of Lady Shri Ram College For Women; and
Merry Barua, Founder, Action For Autism,
who talked about the uprising demand for the inclusion of differently abled in the society.
A few points that were raised about the issue of social exclusion are as follows :
1. Interaction with differently abled is necessary.
The situation, according to Mr Malhotra, is far more complex than medical conditions, since it’s a social conditioning that is ingrained in people.
2. Diversity is needed in thoughts and action. We as members of a community or a society must try to include all sorts of people, their physical disability should not come in between their capabilities.
Definitions of a differently abled individual and barriers to their success are created by us.
3. Our ideas of Marginalization comes from our lack of understanding the situation. We need to let people see how capable and potential the “different” is.
4. Disability has been demonized in scriptures.
The villains in the movies always had disabilities(whether it be mental, physical or spiritual). Hence the othering of disables is a continuous process.
“Jyoti basu had slant eyes, it was said that he cannot be trusted.”
5. Most people don’t have the humility to accept the difference. Differences impact the normative in brilliant and unimaginable ways!
“There is another way of experiencing life”, said a teary eyed Merry Barua who nurtures an autistic son.
If we want to change the society then there has to be a physical accessibility to all kinds of people. Embarrassment is a barrier which starts taking roots in a person’s life when he or she is just a child.
We are looking for avenues to become a socially accepted part of the society, but that should emerge from an inclusion in and of all forms of the society.
The talk session threw light on immense amount of prejudices that the Indian society follows; constantly demonising and creating ridiculous myths about these people.
We also had students sharing their stories of being sidelined by the society at some point of time. It is a pity that such cases are still being looked down upon or ignored by us.
The session ended with a clear and opinionated session of questions and answers which opened the windows to possible changes, if not make the changes themselves immediately.
If this is pre – parwaaz,
PARWAAZ is going to be a landmark event!