DISABILITY, A GHANAIAN SAD "DISTIN"
Four years or so ago, I had gone to Nungua to perform some official duties when I received a phone call from a colleague that the Police in Tema had arrested some suspected armed robbers and so they would brief the press in 30 minutes. semi formal or casual items to wear for women
I had to find a way to rush back to Tema so that I wouldn't miss it.
I jumped into a taxi and soon I was in town but about five hundred metres to my destination, I observed that there was a very terrible vehicular traffic so I decided to alight and walk.
I realized that the faster I walked the farther I went from my destination and so I thought of running.
I was so determined to be on time that nothing else mattered to me.
Before I could say Jack, my leg was stuck in one of the metal railings on a gutter.
I had tried to jump the gutter when unfortunately I missed my target.
It took me a while to remove my leg. I cleaned it and continued running till I got to the venue for the press briefing.
Thankfully, I arrived just when the suspects had been brought and so I got all the information I needed for my story.
Because I did not sustain any visible or life threatening injury, I forgot about the incident.
Days later, I started experiencing one pain or the other on various parts of my leg and so I applied hot water and liniment from time to time till I got healed or rather till I thought I had been healed.
Two years later the pain came back and more severely and so I had to sought medical attention.
I had my leg bandaged for about a month and limped almost through out the period. I had to deal with an excruciating pain.
That was when I appreciated that being a physically challenged person was a "death sentence" in our part of the world.
I struggled everywhere I went. Buildings were not disability friendly, not even our churches, offices, schools, hospitals or our homes of all places.
There was a day I went somewhere and there was no elevator so I had to climb the stairs. By the time I was done, tears started running down my face.
I was tired, sad, frustrated, disgusted and disappointed in everything and everyone. I kept asking why it had never occurred to anyone to make the physically challenged their priority?
I tell you, several buildings have been put up in this country with no consideration for our physically challenged brothers and sisters and I will emphasize that even most of our churches, mosques and homes are guilty of this.
The painful truth about this world is that, all of us are candidates for disability. Until a person is dead, he or she has not escaped that possibility.
Look round your house right now and be honest, if you become physically challenged right now, won't you struggle in your own home?
Our physically challenged brothers and sisters have always been an after thought in everything and one would ask, how long can we be so heartless.
There are, or have been several policies with many gathering dust on shelves but the hustling still continues for them.
We have to rise up and alleviate the suffering of these brothers and sisters. Even public or state buildings and roads are not disability friendly. Why should this be the case?
As today December 3, marks International Day of Persons with Disability let us use the occasion to reflect on the state of affairs and do better as individuals and the state.
It could be any of us using the white cane, crutches, wheel chair etc.
We shouldn't forget to treat others the way we would want to be treated.
It is the right of persons with disability to be comfortable and the responsibility of the state to ensure this. Enough of the talking.
My name is Dzifa Tetteh a.k.a Daavi Dzifa and I appeal that we wake up from our slumber first as individuals and then as a state to "do something before we die".
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