Focus on making life safer in your own home, where most accidents happen.
Lego, Sweden’s toy major, has finally introduced a set of pieces that make up a man in a wheelchair. The world of toys has woken up to the fact that 15 per cent of the world’s population is disabled or is in the process of becoming so.
As we grew older, some level of disability becomes more and more likely. Physiotherapists have developed a series of exercises on how to prevent falls, or at least protect yourself as you fall. It’s great, today’s employers are not likely to create disability. Maharajas were rumoured to cut off the hands of craftsmen. The builders and craftsmen employed in the Taj Mahal are supposed to have been crippled. Ekalavya-like. They were disabled after they had created their great masterpieces. Nobel Laureate Pamuk writes of a great painter of miniatures who blinds himself with a sharp needle puncturing his retina so that he never has to look at anything after seeing a perfect miniature he had created.
One still hears of beggars mutilating small children to help them attract more alms. The Right to Education Act (RTA), requires every school to be disability friendly. Most are not. Work with your local school, so that disabled children are not condemned to waste their years in the sad hinterland of the uneducated because they can’t enter ‘normal school’.
Disability lurks, a hidden threat in each able bodied life. In a single instant the gift of ‘normalcy’ can be wrested out of our grasp, till we too join the ranks of the disabled. So treasure your status of being abled. Protect those who are disabled!
Focus on making life safer in your own home, where most accidents happen. Talk to experts to learn how to avoid falls. Work with local authorities to make your neighbourhood safer. Co-operate with traffic police to identify killer zones in your area and reduce accidents on the road. Make children aware of hazards that can disable them for life, like footboard travel. Be safe. Be able!
The writer is the author of Everyday Happiness Mantras