Handicap based on OXFORD Advanced Learner’s Dictionary means a permanent physical or mental condition that makes it difficult or impossible to use a particular part of your body or mind of which on my understanding also includes old people because they eventually become weak and unable to take care of themselves.
On 11th Mac 2011, last month, Fukushima, Japan has experienced a disastrous earthquake and just yet, a few days ago, just not too far Sendai underwent a less but still powerful earthquake at a Ritcher scale of 7.1. The latter has reported 2 deaths which an elderly man with a hearth condition collapsed due to shock and an old woman died when her oxygen tank disrupted during the event. On circumtances, especially the above examples, the handicapped could not be helped.
In reality, are they being helped properly?
A society with handicaps has become a burden that we can’t avoid because as human beings, they area part of us. As society sympathize beggars, so, many of them are encouraged to be beggars. And even more sympathetic, the handicapped beggars. Or perhaps an excellent actors. This report in Johore Bahru, Malaysia said there is a rise in exploitation of handicap to become beggars. A witness here claimed that a male, blind beggar led by a lady turns out to own a brand new car and, surprisingly, he is the driver.
For the past 10 years, a number of natural disasters have greatly damaged people’s life. Notably the tragic earthquake in 2004 which triggered deadly tsunamis to various countries which led Indonesia as the most victimized. Pursuing aid, many donation programs were made. Some of them, were meant not to reach the victims but into the pockets. A disappointing act to monopolize caring people’s money and satisfying greed.
Old people are inclusive in society and when they become physically unable, they turn handicapped. Sadly, many fill in the welfare institutions. This could be a sign that the society itself is refusing to support the handicapped and relying heavily on welfare workers to be responsible instead. Certainly, a handicapped stranger, is a nobody but a handicapped family member like mother, is not just anybody. However, in more complex matter when old people become mentally disabled like wandering round alone for example, they need the welfare but not to overwhelming “I find my old man a nuisance, please take care of my old man, I’ll pay you” requests.
The city development has developed tremendously but has neglected to the needs of the handicapped who is capable to mobilize minimally. The Orang Kurang Upaya (Handicapped People) scheme made by Malaysian government is fair enough to help financially and providing benefits plus a special parking lot. Of that, it is yet enough. With the implementation of special female only commuter by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malay Land Train Station), the society reassured that they are being taken care of but why has there not been the special female, primary school children & disabled only commuter of which has been implemented in Japan?
The handicap development in education is not bad as learning facilities are available. But yet not in the issue of the least popular disabled employees. May they not physically able to do technical jobs, but other sectors should consider hiring them as they are capable of producing excellent work just like other people if training is provided. It could be a win-win situation as the company can cut cost and time in searching employees when they can train the handicaps to do the work. In Malaysia, there is no cases yet of handicap people being left to die helplessly. But Charles Custer reported in dismay that China helped brutalizing Dong Jianli’s hope to survive being a disabled, details here.
Conclusively, the handicapped has been given a fair development in terms of education and exclusive benefits but not entirely to be a full function people in terms of employment. They may be handicapped but independence is not impossible. And that also means that they don’t necessary want our sympathy because they also makes the society. And because, overly sympathizing is very much uncomfortable, as indicates a total useless citizen.
Below are a few examples of handicap people who have shined through their life.
Tan Sri SM Salim who has been paralyzed, a bit later in his life, from waist to down is a notable singer in Malaysia. But the beauty in him is that, he is still sings though trapped in the wheelchair. His hit songs include successful collaborations with Siti Nurhaliza, M Nasir etc. My personal favorite is his collaboration with Zainal Abidin singing Satu (One).
Late Christopher Reeve or famously known as the original Superman. Once on a horse ride, he fell and became paralyzed. But he never gave up to prove that he could once again stand up until his death.
Or perhaps Nick Vujicic who was born without limbs but magnificently able to perform almost everything that a normal people can do like house chores and even, play the guitar! Here is his story
All three examples above, proved that in life, survival needs no physical advantage but it starts within you. And the most important aspect in life is, when you fall, just get up again.
Recent natural disasters have caused great calamity including ‘creating’ handicaps which is an unavoidable accident because some victims wake up realizing they are hand-less, leg-less etc. And right now, the victim is Japan.
They may need money for massive physical structure development but they prove to put people first of all things by executing rapid evacuation. Even top car makers; Honda,Toyota have stopped running, report here. So, if you would want to help, please consider these options.