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From confusion to confidence, the Mumbai effect. – Guest column by Turab Chimthanwala

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 10:48 -- geeta.nair

Our guest columnist this week is Turab Chimthanawala. Turab, who is visually impaired, is a company secretary currently working in Mumbai. His hobby is to blog about his experiences and learnings from his tryst with visual disability.

The advancement of the ‘Persons with Disabilities’ and their contribution to national and global development, to a considerable extent depends on the environment in which they operate. This includes physical infrastructure as also the attitudes, beliefs and perceptions of the able-bodied (jargon for non-disabled) towards their disabled colleagues and peers.

If the able bodied are open-minded, patient and considerate, the disabled, basis their abilities and qualities, can achieve extraordinary results. On the contrary, a conservative, regressive and inconsiderate environment would spell doom, however skilled or motivated disabled people may be.

Pre-Mumbai years

I grew up in a small town where, people with disabilities were perceived as objects of charity. They were considered incapable of contributing to self or national development. As a consequence, despite a supporting mother and studying in a top CBSE school, I hardly made heads turn in my professional and personal life. After completing two degree courses with excellent grades, I severely lacked the wherewithal to stand on my feet, forget impacting others.

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