Last week on my birthday, I took a decision to sensitize people about persons with disabilities. I have always observed that despite so much development, people still carry a stereotype mindset. They are mostly sympathetic towards a differently abled person. They are not aware of the developments and transformation in our communities. Being a visually challenged person, I know how it feels when because of peoples’ lack of awareness, you have to suffer. My city has given me a lot. My childhood and life so far has been amazing in the lap of my beautiful city. But now it is time to pay back. I want to make my city aware about abilities of people with disabilities. I want to tell people loudly and clearly that we are not totally disabled , rather we are differently abled people. Being a visually challenged person with 80% of impairment, I had to leave school when I was in class 8th and no school in our area gave me admission because of lack of awareness. I don’t want any other person to go through any such experience. Similarly, I don’t want the schools to remain unaware about our ways of doing things, our abilities and about technology. With this vision of making people more empathetic, I carried out my first session today. This morning, I paid a visit to a school in our town. I am really glad that the principal of the school comprehended my idea and vision. She made arrangements for me and I successfully gave a sensitizing and motivational session. I was confident but of course, I too had butterflies in my stomach before the session. I was very clear about my motive and with my firm will to sensitize students and staff, I took a session of about 20 to 25 minutes. It went really good. The response was very positive and by the end of the presentation, students came up with variety of queries and questions. I provided them all the information they needed. As the session was amidst students of every age group, I made sure to keep my session bi-lingual, quite easy and clear. Main points of my Session included
• What is disability and how it is misinterpreted.
• Detailed step-by-step information about screen readers/talking softwares. . I gave them a demo of how Screen readers work on our laptop and mobile.
• I made sure to convey my message to them that differently abled people don’t need words of sympathy but what is needed is inclusion. We all must include people of all communities. And if we help a person with disability, we should not hesitate to ask for a help from him. One should not have prejudice that a differently abled person cannot help other.
• A piece of information about Radio Udaan, an online radio station of its own kind. This station is run by visually challenged people belonging to different cities. Being an RJ and a part of this station, I told them about our ways of working and broadcasts.
My first session was great. I could feel the excitement and thrill among the audience to know more about persons with disabilities. My aim is to create awareness and to bring a change in the mindsets of people. I believe that if even a single person is helped by such sessions, my purpose will be served