Editorial | Responsibility of the government

Greater Kashmir

Among many other things that have undergone a deep shift in perspective, and consequent legislations, is the understanding of disability in humans. There was a time when such people would be considered as unfortunate, and then left to fend for themselves. At the most it would be their parents, or the immediate family, that would take some care. But finally the world was all darkness for them. But as the modern sciences, and modern institutions of law and governance, emerged, our concepts about disability started changing. Not just the medical treatment for different disabilities, but conduct of the society and the state started changing about how to deal with disabled persons. Now they are no longer considered as a burden, and the tag of misfortune is slowly falling off. The credit goes to a comprehensive change in the way we look at the problem now.

But unfortunately we are still far behind the developed part of the world in this regard. As a society, and also at the level of the government, we haven’t done enough to integrate the differently-abled people in our systems. Take the example of education. Our regular schools are not equipped to offer education to these people. We don’t have enough arrangements in place to offer them education in specially built schools. Similarly our hospitals have no special wings for dealing with the specially-abled people. At the level of civil society we have not put in place things so that these people can live their lives comfortably. Even we don’t have programs to sensitise parents, family members, officials, teachers and doctors on how to deal with such people. It is a collective failure on our part. The need of the hour is that we emulate the ways adopted by the developed societies in this regard. A full scale initiative is needed at the level of legislation, education, healthcare, other institutions of governance, and also at the level of the civil society to safeguard the interest of these people, and make their lives as comfortable as is possible.