It is generally considered that disability is a handicap. But persons with grit & determination have shown that disability is not a handicap to achieve set goals in life. Hundreds of men & women have proved their excellence in sports in para-Olympics, usually held after the main Olympics in a leap year.
Similarly in the field of literature & arts, Divyanga people, or the people with different ability, have equally attained heights along with normal persons. This year’s prestigious Sathya Akademi award in Sindhi literature has been won by a Nagpur-based writer Dr. Vinod Asudani. Dr. Asudani is an MA in history, sociology & Hindi, beside a Ph.D. in English & Psychology. Born blind, Dr. Asudani never gave up hope. He has written 37 books in Sindhi, Hindi & English. The Cambridge University honoured him by including him in the “International Dictionary of Intellectuals”, while the University of South America conferred on him an honorary D Litt.
Similarly, there is an association of mouth & foot painting artists with its Headquarters at Mumbai. Recently Air Commodore Nitin Sathe paid glowing tributes to the late Flight Lieutenant MP Anil Kumar in his memoirs “Born to Fly”. Anil Kumar was paralysed below his neck in a freak accident, but he continued to write from a paraplegic rehabilitation Center in Pune. He had written about the need for a Chief of Defence Staff to coordinate the 3 Armed Force Services. Eventually, the Ministry of Defence created such a post.
The famous Hindi poet Soordas was blind, but his verses about Shrikrishna’s charming Brijbhasha are well known. Thus disability is not a hindrance for a person with a strong willpower. The Marathi saint poet rightly says that the fruit of any action lies in one’s determination. Nischayache bal, Tukaram meaner techi phal.
It is heartening to know that the Government of Maharashtra has set up a panel to study the possibility of a University for students with disabilities.