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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Friday, August 21, 2015

differently abled, our Govt and us:-(

yesterday the day started off in an odd manner and ended with a very heavy note..
as we were preparing to leave we are informed some Differently abled folks mostly physically challenged wanted to we wait to meet them..
i came to know that they wanted some help in thinking (& implementing) some alternative livelihoods for them. I did not (and even now donot) know what we can do..
 But at the end of the meet, i seriously want to do something..Its a huge challenge for us to show that there is some humane-ness left with the humanity..
they come in and  started to explain their situation..
differently abled includes physically challenged, mentally challenged etc. This group came from Siva gangai dist, one of the  most backward districts of TN. There are apparently 25000 of them in that district. It is so backward that such people are locked up inside the houses and not exposed - for the fear of shame. (that they have a differently abled kid or kin). This particular physically challenged group (has 2500 members in their group!)  and these are people who are mobile while on all fours.
so they conveyed to us that people do not even shake hands with them, they hesitate.
They do not get to o to school or social gathering or just about anywhere..and mostly tolerated by parents..when the parents depart they have hue issues, esp the women. No body wants to take care of them.
This man pushparaj who leads them, himself is one such physically challenged, but runs a small 'potti' shop and has a set of friends and organises one big day of serving a kalyana sapaad for all his folks..yes, he says from an ae of 3 he has always longed for a good meal esp kalyana sapad and so he says almost all his folks will have that longing. Hence with funds from his friends he organises one bi "do" .. he says he gets lots of calls from women who say they are suffering and would like to come out if there is a hostel or an orphanage for them,
That is bcos he experimented by renting a house and having some 10 inmates who would make some products like candles and incense sticks.It was  not very sustainable for him. so he went to the (then DMK regime) minister who said she will help him with some amount and he should prove that he has used it and created meaningful lives and livelihoods and then she will be able to expand/extend. fair I thought too. But that was Rs 12 per day for 3 meals per person! This man tells me it is very tuff to feed a person with 12 sir. i nodded and before i could ask him how much wud be needed he says 'we need atleast 25/- to feed 3 times.." man! that hurts..really..even a Kapil sibal or Aluwalia will say a bigger number there!
while explaining his forays with govt, he cutely says, when we do all protests, writing letters and then finnaly go near a m inister there will be the last few months and thats it, elections will throw everything awry. if aat all they break through like that one time, how ever paltry it was, that was stopped too. There were elections and since Govt changed, the 1st thing the enw govt did was cancel this and so even that 12 was lost. and no place..the Govt ofcourse is also filled with insensitive officers! one officer recently told him " even people with hands and legs intact are strugling and waiting for jobs, where will we give u?"
when he goes out and tries to take a place for rent, even after paying the advance many times the owners turn them down saying the neighbours are objecting to so many 'invalids' (thats a term they used it seems:-( sad!)in their neighbourhood.
what a society we are.. what has happened to humanity?
this race called human being is not aboiut being human isnt?

Shekar Gupta once wrote - if Stephen Hawking was born in India, we would have wasted his life long back. how true?:-(

We discussed some of the things they can do at their place..and how they shud start in a small way and expand..
We urged them to find a place and take in 10-15 inmates and experiment on a few stuff. we brain stormed about various stuff like pickles, areca plates, papads, nelli-mulli, products from recycled wastes, paper bags etc..
we assured them that some of us will sit and brain storm and come with some ideas/plans.
Meanwhile we will somehow garner the amount they would need to run a space with 15 inmates.
Iam sure a few of us together can do that much and show them that there is humane-beings in this humanity..
and pl send me some ideas for them to do..
this man in the past has organised candle making, computer courses, incense making etc. they will be a mix..some of them will have 3 wheeled bikes and so can even move around. they will be able to
make many things sitting on ground or on tables..
so come up with ideas and esp people who can go and train them..
and pl do make it a point to help in some way, every differently abled that u encounter.. it is bcos of many of us have ignored them, the rude ones have rubbed it hard in to the extent these people have lost faith in humanity, almost..
NO! the govts wont come..dont even dream..
lets make that impact with our collective effort.


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