‘Differently-abled’ is a striking classification worthy of laudation, as it could enlist the inclusion of man, animal and bird of all categories, the only criterion being it should be ‘differently abled’. Nay, even the law –breakers in diverse paths could gather comfort in the shade off it! Well, the laudable, far-reaching aspect of the attractive categorization apart, it is a baffling task, indeed, to create an inclusive society for the differently-abled since the categorization is apt to cover widely different, spread out, stray, inherited or acquired, occasional, accidental, incidental, unforeseen cases here, there, with none in some areas but seen occurring in isolated patches often. In several cases, apart from the general classification and broad sub–heads or categories that may be brought forth, it would defy classification needed for framing strict rules and regulations, as ‘differently-abled’ primarily attracts individuals deprived of some features in birth or later. The issue demands broad, liberal approach, sympathy, understanding, need and scope for wider coverage under broad categorization, etc., subject to liberal administrative vision and legal constraints, needs and positively eligible for liberal societal compassion.
The topic here is to create ’an inclusive society’. The initial reaction to the issue shall be that the endeavour would initially need a public dignitary of vast national, saintly grade and reputation like Mahatma Gandhiji, whose word would work magical wonders not only for the occasion but for all occasions to demand the society to accept the differently-abled as equal partners and members. Most members of the society have inherited or acquired inhibitions, mental reservations and aversions to the unfortunate lot except perhaps the family members of the disabled.
‘The term ’Differently-abled’’ may attract, unless specifically restricted by definition even intellectual giants, though the theme and the scheme factually seek to rope in the opposite in human realm, those lacking, suffering because of deficiencies in physical, mental, intellectual spheres into the basic body of normal humanity. The definition shall incorporate and enable those lacking in mental, physical, emotional and other features of human life into the main fabric of society. What is primarily needed is societal, mental, psychological, intellectual, cultural understanding, compassion, solicitude, sympathy, and much more freed from any sense and feeling of aversion, disgust, revulsion, etc., but rational understanding. Can this be attained by any act of government or political or cultural body in the present environment in the material world?
In view of the difficulties, the government may initially celebrate a specific day for special appeal to the society. The day may be chosen keeping in view the much honored non controversial, public leader of the past with winsome achievements. The reason behind the scheme is positively laudable but the issue defies definition.
May it witness wide acceptance from all categories of the society of Bharat!