To make a certain kind of people in public spaces feel invisible is often termed body fascism. The apathy towards ensuring equality for the differently enabled is a classic example. So it is in the country, which has led to Prime Minister Modi launching the Accessible India programme – which, there is hope, will not remain a slogan alone.
December 3 is observed as World Disability Day around the world. To mark the day, Culture Machine's YouTube channel Being Indian put up the short film you can watch above, giving voice to the concerns of people with disabilities.
The people featured in this film titled Being Aware #MakeIndiaAccessible talk about the disregard to making public spaces more accessible to them. There is indifference on the level of infrastructural support, and also in terms of how the public expects the differently enabled to behave.
The film details the experiences of the differently abled and the prejudices they are faced with on an everyday basis. At restaurants, for instance, waiters either don't take orders from someone they perceive to be incapable of placing them. Or, as Raju Waghmare – who is blind – tells us, waiters just put the menu in front of him, oblivious to the fact that he cannot see.
Similarly, Sunita Sancheti who suffered from a spine injury at 16, describes how in response to a question on accessibility, the staff at a theatre told her to get DVDs and watch the films at home.
This film dispels the myth that disabled people cannot fend for themselves. Everyone featured here is independent and "productive" in the capitalist sense of the word. Through this video they call out the disregard society has for them in the lack of basic amenities such as ramps, appropriate bathrooms, customised communicative technology and transport.