ARE people with disabilities supposed to be given special treatment? I do not think so, not if they call themselves differently-abled.
But they are us for a reason, just like the poor. Notice, I did not say they are among us, and deliberately so. We have become a self-centered world, a self-centered nation and that is why we need things like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. The world is beyond just the physical sphere. The spiritual sphere is where we care for each other’s wellbeing.
After Hurricane Katrina some years ago, a man confessed on television, “Yesterday, I was a millionaire, today, I have nothing.” What he still had was life and that is the equating plane. While we have life, we are responsible for each other.
As I continue to put some focus on people with disabilities in preparation for 100 Thousand Poets for Change, I wish to highlight Angus. We all know him from outside of M&C on Bridge Street in Castries. I have a lot of admiration for Angus. Despite his disability for years, he has been coming out to set up his tray in front of the business establishment.
Angus is not the happiest of people as he shares some of his miseries with you, if you have the time and patience to listen. The one thing I know is that he is trying to get an apartment in the CDC in the city. So I write this article so that the people in the know can be aware. People like Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrin, the disability council (if we have one), Ministry of Planning or HUDC — or whoever is responsible for rental of the CDC apartments.
Transportation can be very expensive for Angus on any given day as he lives a bit off-route at City Gate in La Clery. He told me that he has to pay the bus drivers $10 to get out of his home and $10 get back home. This is just the start of his distress.
I remember one night while I was passing through town, sun almost set, seeing Angus out on the streets in Castries. At the time, he lived at Bishop’s Gap, Marchand. That was quite a reflection on our society. No one was moved with compassion to push Angus home. We have become a very busy people.
In last week’s article, I did say that a lot of us live to satisfy societal pressure and for some of us it would be demeaning to push a disabled person on a wheelchair home, passing through the middle of the city.
Angus was not born disabled. This is for all the people who walk the street strutting their chin above everybody else’s. The way you are born is not the way you die, so take a look in the mirror and do not think yourself more important than others.
To the politicians who like to manstipé on the poor and the vulnerable prior to elections, taking photos and mingling with them, this one needs your help now.
We are a collective. On September 30, let’s get ready to take a look in the mirror as we focus on people with special needs as Ponm Damou Kreations takes part in the global event, 100 Thousand Poets for Change.