To what extent the recruiters, both public and private, are bias against people with disabilities is evident in the fact that five candidates with disabilities were not recruited even though they successfully passed the 34th Bangladesh Civil Service examination. However, the good news is that the High Court, in response to a writ petition, asked the authorities concerned to appoint them within 60 days. We welcome the HC intervention in this regard.
Disabled people are being shut out of the job market either because of workplace bias or lack of governmental support. There is a certain percentage of quota allocation for this disadvantaged section of the population, but in most of the cases the reservation system is ignored. Even the Disabled People’s Rights Protection Act-2013 has not been successfully implemented so far. As a result of the weak implementation of the law and closed mindset of the society, the people with special needs are shunned from mainstream society.
In a country where around 9 per cent of the total population has varying disabilities, they encounter barriers at each step of their life. It is a sad truth that when a child is born with some physical defects is treated as a burden. Very few parents invest in the education of their disabled wards. So, it is not always possible for someone to grow up as worthy citizen. Therefore, the reality is that in most cases they lag behind not because of their disability, but because of a range of social and practical barriers.
It is all the more disheartening to see that when some amongst the disabled come out successful defying all odds, they are being discriminated. Discrimination against them should be made a criminal offence.
We must understand that they are differently able people and can prove their mettle in many areas if they are given an equal opportunity like the rest of us. Famous people like Stephen Hawking, Hellen Keller, and the list goes long who suffered from disability and yet did extraordinary things in life.
Therefore, while the government should ensure equal opportunity for the disabled, we all should extend a collective hand to meet their needs. Only our collective efforts can make up for the cruel treatment they receive at the hands of fate.