A blessing called diversity!

While being one of the invitees in Aamir Khan’s talk show, Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Triumphs), I was moved by the accomplishments kissed by many, despite being disabled, in different streams. My social interaction with them was not less than inspiring and awestruck. It brought about emotions and proved to be yet another learning experience for me. It was a shining event, to be a part with, wherein people, who we call disabled, showed the world about how they excelled by crossing over those social limits and boundaries that the society always tends to put over. With a little bit of extra assistance disabled can shine equally as the normal ones in the world. That was the theme of the entire episode.

The episode was a satisfying experience. It drove me to look at the treasures that our world is blessed with. One of the most precious treasures, with which our world is blessed with, is life that exists in myriad forms across all the spheres of the earth. Human beings, due to their faculties, form the soul of the world we live in. Our world is indeed beautiful. People, of different streams (philosophy, poetry, etc), have written extensively since time immemorial about the endless beauty of this world. At the heart of this beauty lies the diversity. Diversity is a natural rather a heavenly phenomenon of our world. It is indeed diversity that makes this earth beautiful and full of glory. Just take a cursory peek at the sky above, you will encounter nothing but pure diversity. One wonders, even for a while, about how the beauty looks so blue. How amazingly the clouds float in this divine blue of the sky? The joy one enjoys, when the golden sun rays strikes and play with these clouds, is beyond one’s expression and narrative. As the night dawns the divine blue turns to divine black as if a piece of black velvet had been put over the sky for the stars and the moon to dazzle. Isn’t a pure diversity? Either of the sky, divine blue, clouds, sun, moon and stars are not similar yet they complement each other, with unflagging patience, to reach their summits.

A look around our surroundings reveals nothing but diversity. The seasons, during the year, we interact with are not similar and yet they allow each other to blossom with unflappable temperament by not discriminating and intruding into each other’s sphere. The splendor of nature offers a rich banquet of delight to us. The creatures of this splendor are of diversified types. The shades of green, colorful flowers, snow clad mountains, murmur of flowing rivers, flying birds are just a few to name. These creatures of splendor are not similar, yet they live in tranquility and harmonize each other equally to accomplish their pinnacles. That is the diversity and our world flourishes by it.

As depicted above diversity is a heavenly phenomenon and something that makes this world, while enjoying its sail to the accomplishment, beautiful. No two individuals are same. In fact, children from the same parents are not identical. Each individual in this world is unique. That is the law of universe. However, yet our approach and treatment to some amongst us, who we call disabled, are not worth to talk about. Isn’t an irony that, despite being supreme souls of the world and belonging to the same group, we tend to discriminate with our own fellow beings owing to a kind of a hurdle they suffer with? One can, in no time, turn to a disable due to an illness or an accident. Why then this discrimination? For how long we are going to water the roots of the stereotype portrayal of disabled people? When this system of treating disabled less favorably halt? People, often make a spectacle of a disabled person without realizing that they are actually harassing and abusing that person. That, in itself, is a crime. Our less favorably treatment to disabled agitates mayhem to their lives. It is like devastating them both from inside and outside.

For sure, we need a strong legislation and its implementation about disability. While leaving the legislation for law makers, however, we, as humans, have something to ponder about the diversity that our world is blessed with. It is this diversity that tones a lotus to blossom from the mud. Ola Joseph, an author-speaker-trainer, how rightly says, “<b>Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness</b>”.  This quote of Ola Joseph captures the spirit of the law of nature that is each individual is unique in the world. And the perfect balance that we see amongst the heavenly treasures, we talked above, is purely due to the embracement of one another’s uniqueness. It is due to this embracement that they hug the peaks meant for them. Aren’t we disturbing this diversity in the world by not embracing the uniqueness of the disabled ones? Aren’t we agitating this universal harmony and tranquility by discriminating the capabilities of the disabled ones? Aren’t we halting the world to see the achievements of the disabled ones by limiting them to the boundary walls of our homes?

With that hand of embracing their uniqueness the disabled ones have in them to pull out, the uniqueness in them, and thrive to shine. It just requires lending and extending our hand of embracing and assistance.

My interaction with some of the disabled participants at the show, Satyamev Jayate, was amazing. Sai Prasad, while being paralytic in his lower area from childhood, has kissed such a feat that the normal ones would dread. He has become a complete sky diver. A boy who needed help to step down the steps and yet the zeal and uniqueness in him pushed him to be a complete sky diver. Sai, while being one of the toppers in his college, was offered a placement in the country’s famous Infosys Technologies. After joining Infosys, while being all alone without help, he realized that he could do all his tasks alone. Sai did not stop here. He decided to go US for studies. The paralysis in his lower area never deters him as he flew all alone to US for his studies. Sai’s accomplishment was indeed inspiring. What Sai has achieved was due to embracing, the uniqueness in him, and lending and extending that helping hand by his parents.

Nisha, a 13 year old girl, was yet another shining twinkle to interact with. She is suffering with one of the rarest diseases called lamellar ichthyosis.  This disease causes her skin to be extremely dry and stretched that makes her eyes to remain open. She has no vision in one eye and about 60 per cent in the other. I found the girl very intelligent. I found her sweet and bold and above them all very patient. The girl was around with me for almost 2 days. She finished reading of one of the Harry Poter’s book consisting of around 400 pages in one hour. This she did despite having issues with her eyes and sight. She was a treat to be with.

Aren’t we responsible to let the diversity to flourish? Aren’t we responsible to embrace the uniqueness in disabled ones and offer our hand to let them shine in the tranquility of the world? This would, for sure, cultivate the environment in our societies wherein we all, normal ones and disabled, will equally blossom to accomplish our own accomplishments. That would set tune in for the prosperous and healthy societies around. World will have more geniuses like Stephen Hawking to get blessed with.

Let us resolve ourselves and work to exterminate that negative mindset that has been around for scores of decades.  Let us let diversity to flow in words of M. Scott Peck, “Share our similarities, celebrate our differences“.

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Anjina Koul Bhat

Anjina Koul Bhat

The write, an MBA graduate, since school days has been passionate about writing, debating and sharing thoughts. However, it all culminated into being a blogger recently after sharing her simple experience with mothers of disabled children that lit up their eyes as if new lease of life has dawned upon them. Blogging, from now onwards, will be another way of remaining in touch with mothers who want answers to numberless questions they have about their disabled children. She is accessible at anjina@aarush.biz