January 18, 2006

Inch at a time

Off in web-free land for three days, so I couldn't get to this ... My Monday Mid-Day column (Jan 16 2006), here. Comments welcome.


Shruthi said...

True. I realized how unfriendly our roads and buildings are, when I was down with a ligament tear, and was forbidden to walk for 2 months. I had just started going out with my husband then, and he was at his wits' end in finding restaurants compatible to the physically-challenged. And not only attitude, but awareness is also very less. I myself realised how unfriendly the city is only after I was grounded.

theesra said...

Like you said, it is not the cost, it is the attitude.

But, it is not an attitude that says "to hell with you, you don't matter". That would be possibly a little easier to deal with.

It is not one of indifference, "Oh...I don't care, until I am one of them, then I will raise hell". This could, again, be a little (if only a little bit) easier to deal with.

The attitude, instead, is one of stigma. Combined our ingrained religious and fatalistic notions, we look at suffering people as stigmatized, and somehow lesser beings. Stigma because, they are perceived to be suffering due to the fact that "they must have done something wrong to deserve this".

This is very similar to the stigma that plauges rape victims, where the victim is the guilty party, who "does something to deserve" the fate. Very similar to the stigma with so-called lower castes, because they were deemed to have been originated from a supposedly inferior part of the anatomy of God. Whatever.

I think this is the one place where Govt intervention can play a more than useful role, in the form of regulation of public spaces, and construction. But, we all know how much hope we can carry from that angle, don't we ???