Updated: Sep 23
Story By: Varun Vivek
In a world where perfection is a standard, disability is looked upon as an affliction. The assistance that disabled people require is not even understood in regular life, let alone provided
For the past 20 yrs, I have carried the medical condition resulting in numerous brain surgeries, the loss of sight, epilepsy, and hormonal issues resulting in excessive weight gain and loss of vision - completely in my one eye and partially in the other. Despite everything, I have not only managed to survive the conventional rigid education system but also stood up on my own two feet on the road of employment.
My physical disadvantages have always been a bigger focus than my proficient qualifications. I have to make extra efforts to prove my worth, for instance in one of my jobs, I was not given any work for days. I was made to do clerical work, like an assistant to many of my colleagues. After feeling grossly ignored, I asked them about it. I was given answers like “We are not sure you will be able to handle the workload, we think you are better suited for something simpler”. Things like this further pull my self-confidence down and make me question my own abilities.
My visual impairment makes me bump with people sometimes. In another instance, my manager, the one I reported to in the office, was convinced that I was faking my disability to keep my job. He chided and jeered me, and was joined by another such colleague. I just stood there in the office, alone, trying to convince them that I was in fact unable to see. They stood there poking my eyes to prove their point. I felt helpless. As he was my senior and I could not stand up for myself and disappointingly nor did any of the other employees.
Side-lined, isolated, and not being seen as an equal are few of the things I battle every day. However, there is no denying there are definitely a few people around me who support me and encourage me. I love my work, and I look forward to it every morning. As someone who doesn’t have a ‘perfect’ body, I do need to give 300% in comparison to a normal person, just to be able to attain the life everyone has a right to.