Breaking barriers

Media portrayals of disabled individuals have frequently perpetuated negative stereotypes. This phenomenon, often described as psychological warfare, effectively ‘others’ persons with disabilities, marginalizing them and reinforcing societal prejudices. Such portrayals can lead to the internalization of negative self-images among disabled individuals and perpetuate a cycle of discrimination and exclusion.

Notably, writers like Edward Said and David Arnold have extensively explored the concept of orientalism in India, highlighting how Western narratives have historically constructed the East as the ‘Other.’ Similarly, the representation of disabled individuals in media often follows a pattern of ‘othering,’ where they are depicted as pitiable, dependent, or even as villains, rather than as complex, multifaceted individuals.

The crippled, the dumb, and the mute are often reduced to their disabilities, with their identities and stories overshadowed by their physical or mental conditions. This reductionist view strips them of their humanity and individuality, making it difficult for society to see them as equals. Instead of being portrayed as active participants in their own lives, they are often shown as passive recipients of charity or as burdens on society.

Media portrayals of disabled individuals have often perpetuated negative stereotypes, contributing to a cycle of discrimination and exclusion. These portrayals reduce complex, multifaceted individuals to their disabilities, overshadowing their identities and stories. Instead of being active participants in their lives, disabled individuals are often depicted as passive recipients of charity or burdens on society.

Regarding charity, it symbolizes self-fulfillment when communities or individuals provide for basic needs like food, rations, or medical expenses. However, it often doesn’t extend beyond immediate necessities.

Our Way

Perhaps we should consider an alternative approach: empowering the disabled community to become stakeholders within societyResearch shows that disabled employees can significantly impact a company’s revenue, with 30% higher net profits and 111% higher overall net income1. It’s time to rethink our perspectives and create more inclusive narratives. Why haven’t we explored this before? 🤔

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