New Delhi: Last year, on World Disability Day, a 44-year-old woman Malini Chib, with cerebral palsy, released a book, One Little Finger, with a strong message about the journey of her life and the odds she faced.
Malini would know about the struggles as cerebral palsy makes body movement and speech extremely difficult.
But she not only overcame the challenges that she faced but also took up the cause for the differently-abled by speaking out for their rights and the problems they face.
Speaking at a seminar in Delhi, Malini said, "I was studying in Xavier's College in Mumbai and there was no way for me to use the library on the 4th floor. Public restrooms don't have railings, ramps etc."
But, Malini realises that empowering the differently-abled is an uphill task. For this, attitudes need to change and awareness needs to be raised in the society.
A case in point is the seminar that Malini was present at which had no infrastructure in place for the disabled.
"Even if parents have confidence in their child, the society and the government need to support that confidence", said Sumita, Chairperson of NGO Working for Disability Rights.
India has an estimated 70 million differently-abled people but the number could go up once the ongoing census data is out.
The efforts by Malini and various other people could just be a small step in bringing these special people into the societal mainstream.