07 ENABLE THE DISABLED with the Power of Love - Ninette Lobo

posted Apr 5, 2018, 9:38 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 5, 2018, 9:39 AM ]
The disability rights sector recently suffered a loss with the demise of activist Javed Abidi. All his life, Abidi, a wheelchair-bound differently-abled individual himself, had championed for provisions to ensure equitable accessibility and employment for the disabled community in the country. His efforts had been instrumental in the enactment of the Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill in 2016.

In a country of 1.32 million, approximately 2.6 crore individuals suffer from some kind of disability. This accounts for 2.2% of the country's population, of which approximately 58% are males and the remaining female (Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India, n.d.) These statistics make one wonder why a country with a population this huge, has only a handful of names like Abidi's who are concerned about the rights of the differently abled.

But if lessons were to be taken from the Holy Bible, each one of us has the ability to make the world a better place for the differently abled population. We need not be activists, just active human beings who can operationalise Christianity's message of 'loving thy neighbour'.

Christianity, through the Holy Book, conveys the Creator's messages on showing love, respect, sacrifice and selfless service to all of God's children. The Bible shares the Lord's views on treating fellow brethren fairly and equally, without exploitation. Leviticus admonishes us, "Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord." (Pryor, 2015)

Matthew 15:29-31 tells us about the divine assistance the Lord gave to His subjects. The Bible exhorts that we should offer selfless service in its own right, without expectations of being repaid. We should take inspiration to be of assistance to those with disabilities, who therefore are unable to assist themselves.

Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then He went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to Him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at His feet; and He healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking; the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. (Pryor, 2015)