BEING FEMALE AND DISABLED

“Unable to use a part of your body properly,” Google defines the word ‘disabled‘. But for the Indian people, this description is purely passable. In this article, we will perceive what it is like being female and disabled on our native soil. 

Unlike other countries, disability in India is impacted by social divisions such as class and caste. Like adding fuel to the fire, women with disabilities are more marginalised than their male counterparts here.

Even when they are born, it is deemed to be parents’ sin. If they come during the time we depart from home, it is believed to be a bad omen. If they are enrolled in a school, they will hardly be accepted by other children. 

For a girl with a wheelchair to reach college as a day scholar, she must have, at least, an adapted car or be assisted by a driver. And it is even hard for any disabled girl to dwell in a hostel. If you can remember well, I have written about it in my previous article.

Their beauty is a tool to feel pity for our society. Due to their evident poverty, they are mostly dependent on charity. Even if they are mortified there, it can’t be notified to their family, for the cost of the course is free. 

Disabled girls are labelled as not having any sexuality. They either remain a virgin for their lifetime or are rapidly ravished by ableist men. But they are forbidden from loving an abled man. Killing their inner ambition and entire emotion, they are implored to prepare for every government examination as they have a 3% reservation. 

Most of their families will go hungry if they don’t win a pension monthly. Even if these girls obtain a degree eventually, they are less likely to become self-supporting economically. Although they get employed sometimes, they are only paid less. It is easy for a hand to be ready with one rupee, but it is shabby to offer them a decent salary. 

These are very few things in the life of every Indian disabled female. Dalit and illiterate girls are twofold vulnerable. We don’t discard even a machine if one of its parts has broken. Then, why do we neglect a disabled person? They can use all their body parts except one. For me, this is the equitable definition. 

These women are neither bad omens nor inspirations. Just like us, they are none but humans

Note: In this article, I have used third person plural, albeit I am a disabled girl.

About the author

Reshma Selvaraj

Hello, my name is Reshma Selvaraj. I am a graduate with a bachelor's degree in English. I am from a village called Kombadi Thalavaipuram in Tuticorin, a southern district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil is my mother tongue. Though I studied English as a second language during my schooling, I enjoyed reading English poems and essays. As years passed by, I enrolled to study the literature of English in a college. That was when I began to read a lot of books both in Tamil and English. Thus I started to have a dream of becoming a writer. I have already written and published two short stories. The first short story, entitled “I have an interview tomorrow”, depicts the life of a disabled graduate searching for a job, and the second short story, titled “Aval Oru Maram”, defines the deforestation happening in the Western Ghats of India. This blog is to show the world that I am becoming what I wanted to become, and I hope that it will help you to become what you want to become.

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