To Those Who Think People With Disabilities Lack Enthusiasm for Life

I live in India and was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a hereditary condition marked by progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles. Since then I have faced lots of humiliation, mockery by my peers at school and as well as neighbors. I used to fall frequently and could not get myself off the ground. My gait was awkward, I had difficulties climbing stairs and was depressed all time. I’ve fallen from public transport and in the restroom many times.

My parents supported me wholeheartedly. They enrolled me in a beautician course and art classes. Art classes make me happy — it’s therapeutic and helps to forget about my disease and kept me energized. Freedom came in the form of wheelchair which helps me to move around and paint my blues away.

One day I met a old friend, and she told me about her able-bodied brother and the difficulties her family faces in the search for a decent marriage prospect for him. She commented that “Even crippled people get married these days.” She was boasting about her brother, but indirectly demoralized people with disabilities.

When searching for a life partner, most people seem to believe people with disabilities lack enthusiasm and zest for life, especially wheelchair users. A guy once told me about how he used to travel around and enjoy his life, and he assumed I could never do the same because of my condition. People like me are rarely given chances to express our opinion.

When you see people in wheelchairs, be friendly. If you are curious about them, just ask directly. We are just like others, and we don’t want to be alone or invisible. This discrimination against disability must change. Disability is not something to be ashamed of; instead, blame the society which is disabled. Accessibility is a major concern which causes people with disabilities to suffer.

Life is full of surprises, and nobody knows what will happen in the next second. We can’t predict disease or find cures for some diseases. So instead of mocking people with disabilities or invisible illnesses, be kind enough to appreciate and help, or just move on.

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