Mohan Thulasingam

Mohan ThulasingamAnything that impairs the success of an effort by a person is called as ‘a Handicap.’ In other words, it’s a condition that affects the performance of a person. The handicap might be of mental or physical nature or both. Many people think that having some problem in the body is the disability. The handicapped mind is the biggest defect one should worry, and not the physical disabilities like blindness, dumb, deaf, etc.

Many healthy and educated people tend to display the disability of different kinds. What else will you call the following misbehavior? Throwing the empty cola cans, cigar butts, and other wastes on the road, Driving the car to the gym that is hardly 100 meters from the house, Spitting in the public place, an unemployed person looking for a job to suit his educational level, terrorists killing the innocent people, politicians squandering the public money, and the restaurants throwing  the unused food in the dustbins. Actually, these are the manifestations of the disabled and unsound minds. They actually symbolise the inabilities only.
In contrast to the above, the attitudes to convert even the challenges of life into the prospects deserve our appreciation. This latter quality is seen in many people who are less privileged by virtue of physical disability, but they mustered courage and determination to excel and contribute to the society.
A deaf and mute person sold his tiny land, designed and built a twin seat ultralight  aircraft with the used parts and scrap materials. The small aircraft that sprayed the pesticide over the rubber plantations invoked him to pursue with the pilots who gave the materials and guidance. A couple, travelling in the train, conducted themselves in a more civilized way by closing the door of the coach without a thud and reaching their place safely. What is so special in this, you may think. The couple is a set of blind people.
Thomas Alva Edison, the father of numerous inventions, had a learning disability in the first 12 years of his life. John Milton, the noted English poet, became blind when he was 43 years old, but wrote the famous poem ‘Paradise Lost.’ Sudha Chandran, an Indian actress and dancer, had one leg amputated due to the negligent medical care after a road mishap. However, she is brave enough to resume her dance with a prosthetic foot.
Beethoven, the best music composer, ever known the world over, achieved many feats despite being completely deaf for the last 25 years of his life. Hellen Keller, an American author and political activist, was the first deaf and blind person to get a Bachelor of Arts degree, and she campaigned for women’s welfare and workers’ rights. Franklin Roosevelt, the ex-U.S. president, though confined to the wheelchair due to the paralysis of his body below the waist, successfully guided his nation through the Second World War.
Despite the inherent difficulties faced by the handicapped people, they put up a gallant show and win recognition and accolades. One common and amazing aspect found among them is the special skill displayed by them. In view of this uniqueness, such people are no more called as ‘ Disabled or Handicapped’ but as ‘Differently Abled.’ Let’s appreciate and encourage the special talents of them, and NOT underestimate their worth. A Defective body is acceptable, but not a Mind with filth and flaws.

(Author is a Ex-Banker and can be contacted on

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December 2023