EMOTIONS AND THE DISABLED

Working for the disabled is a challenge in itself whether for physically challenged or for mentally retarded. The National Trust Act 1999 has brought some fervor in the lives of the disabled people (also called Divang). We cannot just be expressive through just emotions for those who need assistance for changing their lives, the most. Divang people are part and parcel of Indian ethos and culture with changing scenario like normal people.

The national trust caters in four areas: mental retardation, cerebral Palsy, autism andmultiple disabilities.  There are a wide array of schemes for welfare and betterment of Divyangjan (people with disabilities), aptly named Disha, Vikas, Samarth, Gharaunda, Niramaya, Sahyogi, Gyan Prabha, Prerna, Sambhav and Badhte Kadam.

In India, Differently able and disabled people (DAPs) or orthopedically handicapped (OH) people are subject of not only of medical practitioners and psychiatrists but also social workers. One has to have compassion and control over emotions while dealing with people with disabilities. There are organizations like SPARC India (Lucknow) and Kiran Society (Varanasi) which are specially tailored to meet their needs and demands for being aware citizens like normal people.

Artificial limbs and external physical support can help physically challenged but in case of mentally challenged people we should be aware of emotions aspect although physically challenged require it as much as mentally retarded. We need to know about emotions while working with them, teaching them or even working with them. They should not in any way feel special or socially excluded

  • What are emotions for? : Arousal, motivation, adaptive functions, adding colors to our lives, controlling social actions
  • There are various types of emotions, viz., thankfulness, envy, disgust, worry, kindheartedness, stress, boredom, sadness, loneliness, bravery, paranoia, optimism, stubbornness, fear and anxiety.

Dealing with feelings is facing, accepting and working through them. We always have emotions, so we have to learn to deal with them. If repressed, they can find some ways to come out as in depression, anxieties, panic, eating disorders only to name but a few. OH and DAP people also normally have some small percentage of reservations in jobs and education.

There are instruments and devices under Assistive technology and Adaptive technology to help PWDs live like normal human beings.  The occupational therapy and activities of daily living (ADL) help them to pursue normal standard life through self care. For speech impaired, Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is adopted for their betterment.

We should remember they are disabled but right approach and right path can bring lights in their lives and they can also be conscious citizens working for the country and for livelihood on their own.

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