20 October, 2021

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Stand For Ajith & Many Other Differently Abled People

By Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

Asanga Abeygoonasekera

Asanga Abeygoonasekera

We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old – and that’s the criterion by which I’ll be selecting my judges.” – Barack Obama

A rather shocking and sad story was heard by this author from a mother about her child who was raped by four individuals in Colombo. The victim was an autistic boy who needed special care and attention, who found confidence and happiness by finding work for the first time which eventually turned to a horrific story. The four accused have been arrested and one bailed out. We hope law and order will punish the perpetrators who has done this heinous crime. An online petition has been written for support by the civil society “ Stand for Ajith” (https://www.facebook.com/StandforAjith?fref=nf). The world that we live has this ugly side which needs to be addressed by law and justice. This is the society we live in, this is the society our kids are going to grow up in. It is our responsibility to make a change. Stand united and fight against abuse. Differently abled people who need special care should be given more attention, facilities and more importantly acceptance.

AjithIn many societies differently abled people go through many obstacles and it’s the individual society that has to provide happiness and acceptance for them. As human beings we should be more compassionate towards differently abled because we have the brain and capacity to understand not to hurt or abuse them as the case of Ajith.

With the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of people with Disabilities in 2006 by many nations,Sri Lanka has signed the Protection of Rights Bill in 2006. Although the policies are in place the society needs to be educated, and schools / workplaces should encourage positive attitude towards people with special needs.

One of the amazing individuals Gina Badenoch from her workshop in Mexico who has been teaching blind people how to take photographs for the past seven years is a great example of individuals from the society providing opportunity to differently abled people. “It is a way to develop ability through disability” explains Gina. She did a program in Myanmar during the Young Global Leaders Forum. “The camera can become a connection for blind people to the outside world,” she says. Badenoch took 35 cameras and visited monasteries and nunneries nearby Yangon spending time with young nuns, monks and people with various disabilities to form “a spiritual link” with the country. Not only the Government, Individuals from civil society like Gina could play a pivotal role to provide assistance to differently abled people. We should recognize such individuals in our own society and help them in their cause as it’s a great deed what they do to their society.

Employer organizations should be taught of importance of including people with disability to improve disability practices at work place. Creating an inclusive work place in Sri Lanka is essential. A blind girl who had difficulty finding work who was excellent at her research work and writing was recruited and given opportunity for the first time at the Government Research Institute last year and she did her work really well and her articles were published by media. The staff gave kindness and made her feel happy at work. Inclusiveness and attention for differently abled people should be considered and Government policies should address these important individuals. Public Buildings and hotels without any disability access should be clearly given a notice, star ratings striped off and warned if they don’t provide the necessary facilities. The home for elders and disability around the country needs much more facility than the present state of most of these places. The new vehicle permits for newly elected members to Parliament will follow soon after the elections, newly elected parliamentarians will bring luxury vehicles following the tradition by their predecessors foot steps, few of the value of such permits could uplift the homes for disability and provide better facility to all who live there. A decent budget should be allocated for differently abled people to provide the necessary facilities.

A society which is not inclusive and provide opportunity to all will not prosper, the politicians and responsible individuals need to take action rather than talk. This situation is similar in our neighboring country with more than 20 million differently abled people, according to a report released in 2011 by Equal Rights Trust “Research has revealed patterns of widespread torture and inhuman treatment against people with disabilities throughout India,”. As many disturbing stories like Ajith emerge, the society needs to support such individuals to fight for their rights deprived and support them, this is the sign of empathy and compassion we could show towards such victims of abuse.

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Latest comments

  • 6
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    Thanks for spreading the word. We hope more people will support Ajiths cause and help us raise awareness. [Edited out]

    • 2
      4

      This man seems to be a living exxample of the brain washing the young generations of former colonies have undergone under their new colonialism based on “colonising the mind”.

      How about a young man from a former colony who has suffered for no less than 500 yrs under the European-American colonialism quoting Barack Obama, the fraudulant colored-face they gave the world to fool them?

      How about this brain-washed wonder kid’s use of the language this new form of colonialism is spreading – like “choice” for abortion, marriage “equality” for poof marriage, colatteral damage for wilful murder of innovents through aerial bombing – in reference to the “disabled” as “differently abled”?

      Isn’t it simply amazing that people can be so gullible as to swallow the colonialist propaganda hook, line and sinker without any critical evaluation?

      G-d help us!

      • 1
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        The guy is a phoney. Read my comment on his Article “Climate Change Will Kill All Of Us”

    • 2
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      this is the url for the online petition. we need more people to show their support for legislature to be changed to ensure that our children will live in a safe environment – whether they have special needs or not. At this present time, even senior citizens are not spared. Sri Lanka has become a haven for sodomy, rape, sexual harrassment and abuse. Be the change you want to see

      https://www.change.org/p/be-the-voice-of-the-voiceless-the-defender-of-the-defenceless-and-bring-in-more-stringent-laws-to-deal-with-rapists-sexual-predators-abusers-and-sodomists?recruiter=45317064&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-custom_msg&fb_ref=Default

  • 4
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    Thank you Asanga! why can’t the media talk about these issues and give priority always politics. Brilliant article!

  • 3
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    Hey boom boom! You must be bonkers! Your talking through your hat! Not at all sensitive to the issue! Are you also employed at G…Cabin?

  • 0
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    Differently able people have many talents. Some have a disability to communicate. As introverts and inward looking they have the power of contemplation. The creative power of the differently able should be appreciated. The UN through international consultant who is a Sri Lankan are working with the Sri Lankan Government. A world like a different strokes of a paint brush will be amore better and vivid place as we work with the diferently able.

  • 1
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    Interesting article Asanga. Thank you for contributing to the voice for disability. However, as you may recall, the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute itself remains inaccessible for persons with disabilities.

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