By. Nwachukwu Joshua
Everywhere you turn these days, there is a howl for equality and elimination of all forms of discrimination, against women and gays mostly. Surprisingly little is heard of another group often discriminated against. No one seems to notice the physically challenged in our midst; the deaf, the dumb and the blind; scorned by many, relatives and friends alike; especially when required to pitch in and lend a hand in feeding or housing the invalid. In Africa, people abandon them in the streets to fend for themselves. In Europe, people just kill them off, either by abortion or later by euthanasia.
Yet, the story of many disabled people breaks my heart; men and women, who, wrestling with daunting limitations, overcame them with cast-iron wills. The likes of Helen Keller, blind at nineteen months, went on to become a prolific author, anti- war activist and women right activist. Also Jessica Cox, born without hands, became the first pilot to fly a plane using only her feet. Then there is the modern story of Andrea Venuto. Born disabled, yet making his dreams come true. He’s a journalist and the host of an Italian TV show titled: “Overcome Anything.” He’s a man of action who inspires people to live life to the fullest. His is once again a story that should prick the conscience of a Western world killing without giving a chance its invalid, and for Africa a call to provide institutions to help educate and integrate its disabled people into the mainstream of society since they can contribute a lot.