See the person and not the chair……
Updated: Nov 15, 2018
It was way back in 1987 when I spotted this caption “They see the chair and not the person” in Spastics Society of India, Bangalore. Where I started working as an Occupational Therapist. This was the beginning of a never ending journey with some very special people; people who were diagnosed to have a condition called Cerebral Palsy. After I joined Spastics Society I was even, discouraged by some folks, who quizzed me about having Cerebral Palsy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their concern was that I may not be able to hold out and stay motivated, especially when the prognosis looked so poor and seeing any positive change in these people was remote.
The infants I worked with gradually grew up into adults. The organization extended its boundaries, became autonomous and evolved into 'Spastics Society of Karnataka' I grew with them and I gained experiential growth.
Progressing with these young enthusiastic children added to my training. They, are currently the Alumni of Spastics Society of Karnataka and have become my best friends. They taught me to look deep within and discover the person masked by the 'disability'. I am a changed person because I am able to see the 'ability' in each one of them. I have been conducting 'Inclusive' workshops, seminars and camps, to enable myself and the common man to 'See the person and not the chair'.
My perspective changed and my motto became, “See the PERSON and NOT the chair”.
Micky, a former colleague, introduced me to Thomas Kraus(www.socialartist.events) from Germany, who is the pioneer in conducting 'Congress’ for the Persons with Disabilities’ in many parts of the world for over 22 years.. Thomas encouraged us to conduct such a Congress in India. He invited us to Russia for the First World Congress for Persons with Disabilities in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in September 2017, to experience one before we plan to conduct one in India. Micky, Sumanth, Vinay and I represented the only delegates from India. It was an overwhelming experience. The inclusiveness and the opportunities for the world to ‘See the whole person in each of the delegates” was unbelievable.
This exposure has made us zealous to create opportunities to all ’Persons with Disabilities' in India.
We partnered together to conduct the 'First Indian Congress for Persons with Disabilities' in March 2018 in Karl Kubel Institute for Child Development, Annaikatti, Coimbatore, It was an overwhelming success. Ensuing this event, some of the delegates from Bangalore [mostly my friends I grew up with from Spastics Society] have formed an organizing committee and plans to conduct the 'Second Indian Congress for Persons With Disabilities' in Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, HSR Lay out Bangalore during the summer of 2019 and are underway.
Rabi (Rabindran Isaac – Coimbatore)