Persons with disabilities have all too often drawn the short end of the stick
With an estimated 20 million people in the country living with disabilities, let us take this International Day of Disabled Persons to rethink and reimagine how we can make life better for them.
This can stem from the belief that, as the UN puts it, by understanding that “disability is not a feature of a person.” It does not define those who have disabilities and, as such, we should work towards not only changing our perceptions of those with disabilities, but also ensuring that they can integrate themselves better.
Unfortunately, when it comes to Bangladesh, persons with disabilities have all too often drawn the short end of the stick, with little to no real steps taken towards making their lives better.
Not only do many in the country continue to have outdated notions of persons with disabilities (PwDs), considering them to be inferior members of society, Bangladesh also lacks the infrastructure necessary for PwDs to function as contributing members of society, which they are more than capable of.
By taking care of the disabled in our society, we not only stand to boost the economy, which serves to benefit greatly through the contribution of PwDs, but create a nation that truly understands what development means: A society where every citizen is provided for, a government which ensures each of its citizens -- no matter their circumstance -- is taken care of.
On this International Day of Disabled Persons, let us commit to ensuring that these social stigmas regarding PwDs become a thing of the past, and work on improving our infrastructure so that they do not suffer needlessly.