World Disability Day: Community will remain on margins of society until rights are ensured, discrimination isn’t stopped

A disabled child holds a placard during a demonstration to mark the World Disability Day in Srinagar
As someone who has worked in the area of mainstreaming disability in policies and programmes for a decade now, people often approach me asking for information, advice, and mostly just to be heard. A young blind student at a leading college in Delhi recently shared how a corporate known for its “diversity and inclusion” work told her that they only hire deaf persons and persons with intellectual disabilities.
A journalist asked me how to deal with her neighbourhood bank that is refusing to open an account for her brother who has cerebral palsy. At a training of human resource personnel, a participant asks a person with a disability why he does not take it on himself to sensitise his co-workers. If upon reading this, your thoughts are either that of pity and sympathy; or genuine inability to see anything misplaced here, then it is because we have normalised such daily discrimination that people with disabilities face in the country.

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