It was on January 29th that I crawled into the world, I wobbled as I took my first steps but I could stand with much effort. I have seen my parents blush when I started walking towards them and that is how my journey of walking on my own started. I was 13 years old when I first felt the difference in the way I walk, but the introvert inside me never allowed me to share it with anyone else. All this did not stop me from doing what I wanted to do with my life.
It was on 14th November, the day when we celebrate children’s day, that my family saw the biggest storm coming when my sister was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia, the doc said that even I would suffer from the same. Well, it failed to hit me hard because I was made strong.
Yes I am disabled! That isn’t something difficult to accept! But what actually is difficult is how people look at us! How they perceive the term disabled! How disabled or let me say “specially-abled” people are left with no friends, how they just kill their aspirations and ambitions because of lack of accessibility in the country.
Its World Disability Day today and this makes me think how we still lack better facilities to make life easy for us! Disabled people don’t get help very easily but yeah they just can’t walk on the roads without getting pity-filed stares and the curious rapid fires that I answer right in the middle of the road, just when I am out of energy and pray to find a place to sit.
While the most of my pals are compelled to live like aliens on their own planet, I would credit my friends and family for letting me live a normal life. But I just can’t eliminate the day to day challenges. It’s like I follow an evolving cycle of apprehensions each day! When planning to go out with friends, I start with enquiring about the place, if it has steps, lift from the cellar, distance, if it is wheel chair friendly, and the list goes on. If I have to spend a day away from home then I avoid drinking water because the toilets aren’t friendly. I avoid sleeping over at my friends and I have to ask them to come over for my convenience.
My father has to take leave because I had to go to a bank for five minutes. I stopped my masters because my exam center was an old building with no lift and a hundred stairs. I was denied work in a top company, after all the process, just because of my disability.
But if you think all this deterred my spirits then you’ve wrong! 😛 I’m rock strong and I can go on… but a little accessibility would have made things much better, for me and a million others.
Author – Sahithi Srivatchasa