Like any other child, my birth was normal, but the only thing making me different was my half-paralyzed lower part of the body. Therefore, I was not treated like a normal child. I was always being insulted at home by my own family. They thought I was a burden and that God gave me to them as a punishment. They also thought I would be dependent on them till the end of my life.
I didn’t think much about their behavior until I grew older. At that point I knew everything; my family didn’t like and respected me for how I was. They were just seeing me as a worthless human being. I lost hope as well as my confidence in any future. It was painful to think that my own family treated me with so much disrespect.
Last year, in the middle of autumn, a group of women came to our home. They were women from the neighborhood and from my own family. They were talking about social and family challenges within our village. I was watching them quietly from a corner. The discussion took place once in a week. One day, against all the odds, I expressed my opinion and made some comments about the topic. Everyone around me was surprised with what I had just told them. They did not expect that from me.
They thought with my paralyzed and disabled body, my mind and thoughts were also disabled. They never even thought once that only my body was paralyzed, not my mind. They never gave me a chance to show them my abilities and prove them wrong. I was being put in a corner.
After that gathering, people started to make contact and be in touch with me. That gave me hope. My family also started supporting me.
Disabled people are not weak nor are they different from other human beings. You might see disability in their body and physical appearance, but their minds are not disabled. They have the same thinking, and their ideas and abilities as normal people. People who think of other people with physical disability as disabled are disabled themselves.