I was recently asked to be an ambassador for the rights of voters with disability in Nagaland. When I was approached I suggested that a young person would perhaps serve the role better. But after some discussion, I accepted the offer as I felt that it was a great opportunity to educate and create some much-needed awareness on disability.
Did you watch President Barack Obama’s stirring valedictory speech which he delivered in his hometown Chicago? I did. By the end, he was wiping away tears………..and, well, I was bawling too.
Now I know some of you must find that a little silly, like why was she crying over an American president’s speech? Well, I’m sure even his worst critics will admit that he’s a natural and powerful orator with this unique ability to connect with his audience and excite them with energy. He connects with me anyway. Every time I hear him speak, I am reminded of all that is good and hopeful and change that is possible.
There’s a quote that goes - “Good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories”. I think that’s spot-on and I couldn’t agree more that the best days give beautiful memories.
At this time every year, I always get a little nostalgic thinking of Christmas past.....and though Christmas is over, memories of wondrous childhood seasons of carols and cards and trees and family are still on my mind. December opened the door to this magical other world of joyous anticipation, imagination and excitement and it was my favourite time of the year.
Dear Mr Chief Minister,
With repeated attempts by Persons with Disability representatives for an appointment running into the proverbial brick wall time and again, I am compelled to write this letter.
Mr Chief Minister, our understanding of our government is that it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. I believe this essentially means that the government has come to power via the votes of the people, that the people who voted them to power have a say in what the government does or doesn’t do and that the government exists to better the lives of its citizens – all its citizens and not only the privileged class or a chosen few. As you are the head of our government right now, our desire to meet you was simply to apprise you of the appalling conditions in our State that continue to marginalise and discriminate people living with disability and deprive them of their rights, in the hope that you will hear our voice and take steps to right the wrong that has been perpetuated by consecutive state governments.
|The Ao Baptist Church Diphupar, one of the very few churches in Nagaland with ramp access into the building|
The Baptist Church of Nagaland has designated the third Sunday of November every year as PwD (Persons with Disability) Sunday, a day for churches and fellowships to focus on celebrating the abilities and involvement of disabled people. This year it falls on the coming Sunday – November 20.
The Nagaland Baptist Church Council has taken a very important step towards building an inclusive church by setting up a Disability Commission to guide its churches. I believe this is a watershed moment in the Nagaland Christian disability movement.
Labels: Nagaland Diary
I found the lovely short story I’ve shared below while browsing online and it got me thinking.
When tough times invade our lives or when bad things happen to us or our loved ones, it can be incredibly hard to understand and accept. Sometimes there just seems no sense in what is happening or has happened.