Our society seems to have changed and evolved rather we can say that it has developed with changing times, But has it really? The society still looks down upon people who are challenged physically and mentally. We have to ask ourselves as to how many people we see in public places with physical disability. Can we marry someone with a disability? The answer is no because we don’t accept them as a part of our society. Not many as they are not considered part of the society. They tend to stay away from these places to avoid mockery. This aspect has not change and will not if we don’t open our minds.
Manju Sharma who was once an established air hostess shares her struggle and story of how life transformed for her six years back. Sharma was a chill and hearty individual having dreams and aspirations just like a lot of us. She always wanted to become an air hostess and she became one. She was happy, financially stable and living her dream. Then one day, an unfortunate incident just ripped her apart. While securing the cabin in flight, she stumbled and fell. It appeared to be just an accidental fall with no broken bones but turned out to be serious. It took away her mobility and she started using wheel chair.
That is when she realized that her world has turned upside down. She saw that society was treating her like an alien. She had to face hazards in every step. So much so that when she was in a hospital she heard a nurse saying that why a person like her who cannot walk is wearing nail polish? So Sharma did not give up and fought for herself and now she can stand and also walk a few steps.
Manju also wants to make people aware that having a disability is not a crime and that they should be treated with equal respect and dignity just like the non disabled people. She through her initiative Samatwa is looking at advocating equal privileges for the disabled people of the society be it physical impairment or hearing impairment or visual impairment. Social inclusion should be key in terms of She aims at organizing campaigns, recreational outings and gatherings where disabled and non disabled people would be together.
Sharma is also proposing to the Indian Government to recognize the sign language as the 23rd Indian language of the country.This has to be a collective effort to support the cause and sign a petition online at change.org and participate in changing the attitude of the society.