BENGALURU: Parveen Issa moved to Bengaluru in 2014 after having lost her two legs to an accident in 2012. She came to the city to start a new life filled with possibilities, but instead got stuck in an array of terrible experiences and humiliations just to find an accomodation.
Parveen is an above knee amputee in one leg and below knee amputee in other.
When she moved to the city, she first joined a disabled hostel but was not comfortable there as the place lacked proper facilities and an amiable environment for the disabled.
She says, “There was no proper water facility or good food. They would welcome the disabled as they cannot refuse them and later, after the documentation, leave them to themselves. They would say we cannot provide more facilities with the funds that we have. You need to adjust with what is available here.”
But the experience made her value her life more.
She says, “I understood life is not easy. I would share my troubles with my co-inhabitants there and they would share theirs with me. I also decided to take up my hobby of dancing. Only when abled people get to see and live with disabled people, they will understand the difficulties in life and appreciate their lives more.”
With no proper facilties at the hostel and the authorities being dishonest with the documentations of her stay, Parveen decided to move to a PG accommodation.
She knocked at several doors only to hear a hesitant no. Finally, she found a PG in her budget but had to leave in a month as she fell victim to discrimination.
She adds, “The girls in the PG who shared a bathroom with me feared getting infected as I can't relieve myself well in a normal bathroom. Some girls refused to help me fetch food. I did not have enough money for a single room. I looked for another PG nearby, but the owner had spread the word that it will be difficult to host a disabled person. So, they refused to provide me a place. Finally, I found Khushi PG. I have been living there since a year. Some PG mates are friendly and some move away when they see me. It is a good place and the owner understands my problems.”
But for someone who earns only `10,000 a month for her BPO job, it is not easy to lead a life in a city like Bengaluru, says the 32-year-old M Com graduate adding, “I will be shifting to a disabled hostel in Electronic City as I cannot afford to pay `6,000 a month here. There are no accommodations available in this area that fits my budget. Once I shift, I will have to travel 28 km every day.”
There are no provisions for equal access to residential services in the People with Disability Act 1995, but the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha highlights that persons with disabilities shall not be discriminated on grounds of their disability unless it is shown that the specific act is appropriate to achieve a legitimate aim.
Persons with disabilities shall have the right to equality, personal liberty and to live in a community. They will not be obliged to live in any specific arrangement and shall have access to to a range of in-house, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living with due regard to age and gender.
She hopes that the new Act will bring some change in her life.