Glorification versus embracement – 03 Dec 2022

International Day of Disabilities is an isolated projection that can’t fuel the sensitisation required for inclusivity

Third day of December! A universally sanctioned day exclusively reserved for me to whine about my deficiencies or to boast my accomplishments!

The stage is all set to behold a mesmerising performance; the charged-up audience eagerly awaits the curtains to be lifted. I, too, anxiously looking forward to showcase my talent and skills. Already engulfed by the round of applause and deafening cheers, my jubilance continues to mount.

Lights, camera, action!

Thus, the wait is over, the golden moment arrives! Amidst the standing ovation, I take to the stage. Keeping all my anxieties and nervousness apart, I begin to exhibit my heroic feats, with all my zeal and wholeheartedness. The unique feeling of a spellbound audience, relishing every move of mine proved immensely rewarding.

At last, the curtains were announced to be drawn. I could sense my success in creating an electrifying atmosphere, judging through the appreciative conversations and delightful whispers of ecstatic spectators.

Gradually, as the glorifying chants and merriness subsided, shadows of silence seized the emptiness around me. This was the moment when I began to evaluate the magnitude and impact my spectacle has managed to create. Instantaneously, a disconcerting thought sprung into my mind. An inner voice grilled my conscience: have I attained my ultimate goal? For how long would these spectators be able to retain my marvel in their memories? Whether my triumph is sufficient for molding their standardised dispositions? Is pleasing masses by glorifying my capabilities enough to draw social empathy? Whether my demands of reverence and emancipation would be met by gathering a massive crowd to publicise my novelty on a specified venue for a fixed duration?

The above illustration depicts a conventional practice of annual observance of International Day of Disabilities, sanctioned by the United Nations in order to exhibit the obscure role of this particularly marginalised fragment and to create awareness regarding their respective rights and special needs on micro level globally.

Recognizant of solemnness of this very occasion, I am at variance with this conventional approach to the extent of total reliance upon a designated day. In my opinion, such kind of isolated projection can in no way fuel the requisite sensitisation which is essential constituent of an inclusive society. My conception of being embraced by the society as its elemental part cannot be attained through glorifying exceptional traits of any vulnerable section, but by adopting viable frameworks capable of converging heterogeneous component into a single unit.

Let’s ask ourselves: could the agenda of embracement be fulfilled by merely highlighting lives of differently enabled persons and running awareness campaigns on an assigned day, or could it be procured through practical application of the concept of togetherness?

As a person possessed of impairment, my outright preference is to be embraced in the form of casual relationships within the society, be they acquaints or strangers, instead of people interacting with me for the sake of conveying their appreciation of my endurance or fortitude. I require inclusive academic environment than being confined in special educational institutions; I don’t need charity but employment opportunities; I don’t wish to be secluded on pretext of quota system and be denied of my right of merit.

In essence, I am not desirous of assuming the stature of a celebrity who enjoys a huge fan-following; instead, my content lies in becoming a companion who is able to assist and seek favours on cordial terms.

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