No Country For Disabled- Neera

November 06, 2017 0 Comments

Neera, barely 20 years old women in Chattisgarh, is almost 90% disabled. She cannot walk but only crawl using her hands. Every day she needs to crawl to fields to defecate. Imagine yourself as Neera, wherein your entire body is listless and you can use only your hands to move, even to fulfill your basic ablutions.

So to attend your need of call of nature, you need to crawl through the dirty bylanes as there is no toilet in your home or vicinity. There are some public toilets here and there but let's not talk about their cleanliness level. When the well-functional, well-equipped toilets that have full-time cleaning attendants in Malls or most of the Indian Airports are creepy and filthy, least you can expect from a local toilet in small towns. 

So you can use only your hands to crawl to fields to defecate in fields. Fields where there is no jetty, no taps are available. What will you do? You need to carry a lota [a round narrow head vessel] filled with water as you need to wash yourself a bit post the ablution. So you have only two hands to carry yourself and that water filled small vessel while you walk through the public bylanes. Public bylanes that are public property to spit, urinate and throw waste, all righteously.

You are crawling through those bylanes, in all dust, dung and God Know what all, carrying your water vessel and controlling your urge to defecate till you reach the place. In the meantime, something disturbs your balance and the vessel in your hands is fallen or water gets spilled making you go back to the nearest source of water to get it refilled.

And what if it is a raining season or occasional rain hits the locality? 

Imagine, Imagine and Imagine without touching your hands!

ODF- A Reality

ODF or Open Defecation Free is not as easy as you may perceive. I am glad that government is leading the "Swacch India Movement" and enforcing the need of clean and well-functional toilets across the country. However, given the high poverty level and even higher population explosion in India, ODF is less real than what may meet the eyes.

Take the example of Neera. The local officials found that since she was inhabiting an illegal land, toilet building permission needed to be denied to her family. The first step would be to relocate them elsewhere so they can get a basic toilet building at the home.

Maybe her problem will be resolved soon. 

Unfortunately, Neera is not the only disabled person in this entire country. There are thousands of Neera and Neerav in this country. seeing the current- disabled unfriendly infrastructure in this country really breaks my heart. Not all disables live the way Tom Cruise's character was made to live in Born on 4th July. 

Disability is not a choice but a life-long trauma. The absence of disabled-friendly infrastructure or facilities makes it even worse and remorseful. 

While I am in for ODF India, I am also in for Clean and Hygiene India. No matter the large population, if that can be a problem, who says it cannot be a cure too?


The autor is half Human, half machine. Go Figure or just revel in what I write

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