These Kickass People Are Shaping New Dialogues on Disability
Rustom Irani in Goa
Rustom Irani in Goa(Photo: Enable Travel/Twitter)

These Kickass People Are Shaping New Dialogues on Disability

Alright. Let’s get to the point first – persons with disabilities don’t need sympathy. They don’t appreciate the patronising behavior of able-bodied people. And most importantly, they don’t need to be hailed as inspirational figures for merely existing and going on about their life. That’s the most basic dialogue about disability. Persons with disabilities are one among us. And just like everyone else, they too want to enjoy their life to the fullest.

Let’s meet a few cool people who are shaping new dialogues in disability, and voicing their opinions in creative ways.

Travel on a Wheelchair – Why Not?

Through his personal journeys, creative guy Rustom Irani makes us aware of the many challenges associated with travel for persons with disabilities. He also touches upon how travel companies and hotels can do better for the community.

Here, Irani talks about how he felt after he revisited Goa, many many years after he starting using the wheelchair.

Fighting For Their Rights

Once while travelling via Indian Railways, disability rights activist Virali Modi was molested thrice by porters, who were transporting her from her wheelchair to the train. The experience prompted her to start a campaign towards dignified and accessible travel for persons with disabilities.

Virali’s campaign towards making travel safer and more accessible for women with disabilities is very important, indeed.

Love and Dating For Women With Disabilities

Social activist and writer Abha Khetarpal has eloquently written about love and dating for women with disabilities. Her writing is searing, and helps us understand and appreciate the desires of persons with disabilities better.

Protecting Themselves From their Caretaker At Times

Jeeja Ankur opens our eyes to the way in which a caretaker, at times, can exploit his relationship with the disabled person, and how the survivor may not even be able to fight back, because of their dependence on them.

Self-Employed – Not ‘Disabled’

Aditi is a young woman with Down’s Syndrome who runs her own cafe in Navi Mumbai. She’s involved in every aspect of running a cafe – right from client handling to phone calls to taking orders, to managing the inventory to taking care of accounts. Aditi, who always wanted a cafe of her own, loves running her own place. Her success is proof that persons with Down’s Syndrome too can be self-employed.

Disability And Comedy

As persons with disabilities are subject to so much prejudice at the hands of able-bodied people, their experiences are itself ripe matter for comedy. And that’s what the brilliant Nidhi Goyal does – challenge stereotypes disabled people face, one comic act at a time. Nidhi is also the Program Director for Point of View’s Sexuality and Disability series, that sensitively tackles the subject of sexuality among persons with disabilities.

Sharp Comical Expression, You Said?

Comics to tackle the stigma around disability - trust the talented illustrator Antara Telang to make a strong point!

These feisty people are certainly changing the narrative towards disabled persons in the country. Our salute to them this World Disability Day.

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