Divyang Instead Of Viklang

February 08, 2019 —

“What lies in a name?”, one may ask. But let me tell you words have power; infinite and intense power to influence everything.

Some may argue that calling a person handicapped, disabled, dependent or any such name okay. After all, that’s the truth, right? But, I feel, these words add to the mental agony of the people that are being addressed. They may not tell you straightaway or not stop you from calling them names since they are used to such behaviour. The other times, people have grown immensely strong in their life so much so that anything doesn’t affect them now. Their idea is simple, just ignore everything that adds no good to your life.

While I agree that we may have been ignoring the rights of the differently abled people to an extent, fortunately, the big question is being addressed:

  • Providing financial and educational help to them,
  • Time concession in examinations
  • Special schools for addressing different impairments
  • Creating ramps, wheel-chair parking and toilets for the wheel-chair bound people
  • Providing jobs to such people in real time jobs and other such things have been on the rise.

The Day That Invoked Dignity For Divyangs:

Divyang - The Name India's PM Narendra Modi Gave To The Differently Abled People - Digpu Opinion
The Lift at Delhi Metro Station where Viklang is replaced with Divyang

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in ‘Man Ki Baat’ in Dec 2015 that the word Viklang (one having a disability)  should be replaced with Divyang (one having extraordinary physical or sensory abilities). As an Indian, I feel extremely proud of the decision since invoking dignity for all will not harm anyone.

Many expert thinkers argued that the naming hardly helps until the government takes the necessary steps to empower the Divyang people of India. However, after the Prime Minister’s call, the Centre renamed the ‘Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities’ to incorporate the word ‘Divyang’ in its Hindi as well as English nomenclature.

The tragedy of our society is that every action by a politician is looked beyond its real goal. Anything that happened in India since 2014 is either Pro-BJP or Pro-Congress as if all the real issues of the country have been resolved. We could have simply accepted the decision and supported it with full force, but that doesn’t make any sense to the controversy-hungry elements of our society. Let’s face it, there is a logic to calling the Divyang people so. Not everything is a PR stunt.

A Scientific Perspective To This

According to a scientific study, there is evidence that the brains of deaf people are rewired. It shows people who are born deaf have their brains more devoted to processing sounds instead of visions. The research also found that this neural reorganisation affects how deaf individuals perceive sensory stimuli, making them susceptible to a perceptual illusion that normal hearing do not experience.

These new findings are part of the growing research on neuroplasticity, the ability of our brains to change with experience. A large body of evidence shows that the brain is capable of reorganizing itself to support and augment other senses when it is deprived of input in one sensory modality. This phenomenon is known as cross-modal neuroplasticity.

Our Opinion

We stand by this decision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We believe it is important to stop calling people disabled or handicapped. While we strongly agree this is a great move to the acceptance of Divyang people as a part of the society, we also would like to see relevant opportunities and rights for them on the ground. We would like to congratulate PM Modi on this move.

Reference For Scientific Perspective: Scientific American