Remembering the physically challenged in our society By Macdonald Ogu Esq

Nature is said to be the handiwork of God Almighty. According to biblical history, God made men in his own image and likeness. However, some happenings in human life sometimes bring physical deformity or disability to man altering the way and manner God had created man. Actually some disabilities as a result of happenings occur right from the womb and sometimes during child labour or delivery.

Disability simply means, not being whole, indicating that a disabled person is somebody who lacks, either as a result of accident or natural parts of his body.

In our society today, such persons are abound, making their own contribution to the growth of the nation in all aspects of the economy. Today most physically challenged persons had the opportunity of being scheduled in various aspects of human endeavour. As could be seen, most of them can be found in almost all the available professions except in the Armed Forces, where its members are expected to be able bodied and sound in health.

However, how often are the physically challenged persons in our society recognized and remembered by public spirited individuals, corporate bodies and governments of the day? Very good effort should be geared torwards ensuring that the problems of the physically challenged persons in our society is alleviated at all times. It is so because disability is not an exclusive preserve of a group of persons but for all, as everybody is a potential disabled person.

In this regard, all effort geared towards providing education to the physically challenged children must be commended and seen as a right step in the right direction. At the primary school level, such persons require special education, rehabilitation and welfare facilities to enable them cope with the rigours of special type of life in line with the national policy on education which had a specific provision for education on physically challenged persons.

The objective of this policy is to provide adequate education to all physically challenged children in order that they may fully play their role in the development of the society in which they belong. It is also true that disability, which limits individual’s capacity to function normally, manifests in several forms while some are congenital and has the capacity to happen to any person at any time during his lifetime on earth.

It is obvious that everybody who embarks on a journey stands the risk of being disabled, and escapes being disabled only when he arrives his destination safety. With this line of reasoning, one will suggest a total embrace and integration of the physically challenged persons in our society. They should be identified with and given all the necessary assistance to enable them to go to school to tackle illiteracy, hearing problems and mental retardation among others.

It is on record that many physically challenged persons in some parts of the world have over powered their problems and today are celebrities even though some of them have passed on. They include Steve Wonder, an American Blind Musician who made a mark in the music world. Another is Mr. Oscar Pistorious, a South African Amputee who is an Olympic Champion in 100m race. In Nigeria we also have many physically challenged who belong to many professions such as Law, Medicine, Engineering, Architecture and Education.

They arrived at these points as a results of dint of hard work and personal effort.

If there were series of interventions by governments, corporate bodies such as Banks and Oil Companies, probably, the number of success stories would have been more as we have today.

Federal and State Government should as a matter of priority come up with a more roboust physically challenged policy that will continue to address their problems on quarterly basis which will include scholarships, skills acquisition and games. Public spirited individuals should once again rise up to the assistance of this group of persons and the society also should learn to tolerate the short comings of the physically challenged as a result of their disability. They should also be employed in their relevant fields of endeavour as many of them so qualified are not employed. This will help them a lot to live a fulfilled life.


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