Recently some one has given the PWD a new name: Divyang. Interesting. While doing a recent study about livelihood options for PWD in the hills, I came across a riddle: While GOI offers positive discrimination – 3% reservations for PWD in all services, barring Andhra Pradesh, few states report full utilization of this quota. Why?
Why dont PWD take advantage of what is there right and entitlement? It seems that the intervening steps between identification of disability, its certification, schooling and employment under quota (or otherwise) have been largely left to vagaries of chance. It reminds me of our internal debate: Should we lobby to get reservation for PWS? How many of us will actually take advantage of that? I know in my heart as a pws, that we need something else. And I found many PWD during this study who had found this “something else” and are living reasonably well.
Anil (not his name), from a small village near New Tehri, is one such kid, who lost both arms in an accident due to electrocution. But he has put all that behind him now; he is neither sensitive or sad about it; for him it is a non-issue. In the rural setting, people accept him- as he is. He too accepts his life as it IS. He no more blames anyone. He works in a shop and is fond of social networking sites and you tube etc. He operates his cellphone easily (below), besides doing other things- like activities of daily living and even helping at home. Amazing! We need new eyes..