Stories about disability

Kamran, a soldier eternally

The heavy breathing, bewildered expressions, and tears welling from the eyes of the three people surrounding Kamran saddened him. He didn’t know what to say, how to respond, what reasons to give. After all, he was clueless himself. The silence was silently injuring everyone’s hearts from within. This silence had to be broken, and thus Kamran spoke in the most wavering voice. “Why won’t any of you say anything?  Isn’t it enough for you all that I’m finally here?” No one knew how to answer. Finally, after a long pause, Ammi spoke in an almost inaudible voice. “Yes beta. Of course, we’re ...

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Farah Khan’s #WheelchairDiaries are proof of her privileged class and ignorant mindset

While scrolling through my Instagram feed a couple of days back, I saw a photo where a prominent Bollywood celebrity sat on a wheelchair. The expression was confusing; it was more of a happy-go-lucky, strangely triumphant one, very different from what I would see on a triumphant Muniba Mazari’s face. Opening the profile where this photo was uploaded, I saw many more such senseless photos. The photos contain many Bollywood actors and actresses of the likes of Anil Kapoor, Javed Akhtar and Raveena Tandon, doing antics on a wheelchair. Some are shown singing on it, some posing on it, while ...

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Lessons from Nelson Mandela

“I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” This historic roadmap  refers to the most celebrated statesman and visionary leader of the preceding century – Nelson Mandela. He is recognised both nationally and globally as an archetype of the utmost endurance and a man who showed unprecedented ...

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Volunteering at KVTC helped me more than I helped them

I spend all my days and nights looking for a purpose in life and though I might be 20, I feel the burden of not giving back to life after everything I’ve been blessed with. It might sound clichéd when I say that I can’t imagine a life without purpose but I kid you not when I say I have trouble sleeping at night on the days I feel I took more from life than I gave back to it. With the recent exponential growth in negativity around the world, I found myself soaking in negativity and breathing it out, both ...

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Why is our criminal justice system punishing a paranoid schizophrenic?

The mere mention of a crime engages our natural thought process into gauging a punishment for it. Some would just ask what punishment a specific crime entails, some of us would delve into arguing what purpose a particular punishment serves, while others would discuss whether a punishment is adequate or not. We all have our own thought processes and ideologies about what is acceptable as a punishment. However, what is important is to remember the basic idea behind it is. The purpose ranges from retributive to utilitarian to rehabilitative. All punishments must serve some purpose otherwise it would be a futile exercise to impose any form ...

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There is nothing exciting about Me Before You

 “I know this isn’t a conventional love story. I know there are all sorts of reasons I shouldn’t even be saying what I am. But I love you. I do. I knew it. And I think you might even love me a little bit.” – Jojo Moyes, Me Before You A gleaming adaptation of the romance novelist and British journalist Jojo Moyes’s best-selling novel of the same name, Me Before You, is an anecdote of an unanticipated relationship. It is about a friendship that unexpectedly unfolds into an unending affection, spreading its wings and altering the existence of two diverse people. ...

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Polio vaccine: Is it really as safe as it is claimed to be?

Reporting on polio vaccination has secured a regular slot in major media outlets. The reporting is mostly always supportive of the vaccination campaign commonly called “polio eradication”. But is the Oral Polio Vaccine( OPV), or Sabin vaccine (named after Albert Sabin), which is administered to millions of children in the developing world, really safe? Does it have no harmful effect on human health a claimed by some doctor in a recent story? The short answer is: no, it’s not completely safe. Not only can it cause permanent disability in some children, it actually has caused epidemics of paralysis in at least two countries ...

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Living with polio in Pakistan

“I always wanted to study but my dream to get higher education remained just that, a dream. I was unable to complete my Matric because of my disability. It would pain me immensely to see girls who were with me in school going to college and making something of themselves.” Maria, while wiping her tears, was discussing the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government’s new scheme regarding free education for the disabled. Maria is 32-years-old and is a resident of Gulbahar in Peshawar. She was diagnosed with polio when she was one-year-old, soon after she got her polio vaccination. She is currently living with her brother ...

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Facing disabilities: Until we do something about it, no one will

Having a disability does not necessarily make you worse off; it simply means you have to do things differently. However, it is sad to say, our society is plagued with ignorance when it comes to meeting the needs of mentally or physically challenged people. A blind eye is turned towards the needs of these people and because of this ignorance we do not realise the fact that most of the public places lack the basic necessities, such as ramps, integral for the physically challenged. Apart from this, very few schools exist for children with developmental delays. In a social setup like this, it is ...

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10 Things that I learnt from my husband, Sarmad Tariq

Sarmad Tariq, the motivational speaker, life coach and the ‘chair man’ has touched many lives through his experiences of hardship and writings. As my life partner for the last 13 years, I have also learnt a lot from him. Here is a list of my personal favourite top 10 things that I want to share with all his admirers: 1. Do not form an opinion about people on the basis of how they look, what they wear or their general demeanour. Every human being has some positive qualities that can only be discovered if we allow ourselves to do away with the ...

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