towards2010: The White Imperative 2/3

2010.05.24 Updated


Major differences/disabilities and our neglect

We normally focus on differences in physical and mental abilities, ignoring the others:

  1. Physical ability
  2. 2.Mental ability
  3. Age
  4. Anomaly
  5. Gender
  6. Class
  7. Race
  8. Ethnicity
  9. Religious sect
  10. Literacy
  11. Language
  12. Culture

  1. Individual Responsibility
    Avoid “sympathy”. What is needed is “Empathy”.
    Don't ignore the differences but recognise and embrace the differences Ex. the male and female.
    A spirit of mutual enrichment.
    For example, the aged are fund of experience and accumulated wisdom to be utilized. They have money, time and often name and contacts useful to young people and children, while the young can give them physical care, company and love.
    Awareness of the built environment and products, which are inclusive.
  2. Institutional Responsibility
    Need to educate the minds from primary school level about ‘loving and living with differences’.
    Design schools must ensure at least one project by every student on ‘including differences’.
    Design schools must have a faculty in ‘Design for diversity’.
    Masters level specialization in Design for Diversity.
  3. Corporate Responsibility
    Awareness promotion as corporate social responsibility.
    Funding UD Projects in various ways.
    Being a good example in adopting UD in their Employment policies, factories, offices, etc.
  4. Government Responsibility
    Make public policies to encourage UD.
    Enforce the policies made.
    Offer Incentives such as tax benefits subsidies etc

Demographics: India and the world

With better health care, life expectancy increased and mortality rate has decreased. Fertility rates have declined due to new life styles. Population surveys say that each month the number of people in the world aged above 60 increases by 1.2 million. At this rate, by 2050, for the first time in human history the old will outnumber children. The most dramatic changes are predicted in the majority world. By 2050, there will be 400 million Chinese above the age 60, while the entire Japanese population that year will be only 69 million.

According to U.N survey, the people above 60 in India are presently 7.5%of total population and it is expected to reach 20% by 2050.

More than 600 million people in the world live with some form of disability. Out of these, over 400 million live in the economically developing countries, which I call majority world.

India has 1/3rd of world’s disabled population. The people with disabilities of India [63m] outnumber the entire population of UK [59m]. Prevalence of disabilities is 3 times higher in rural areas than the urban areas.
The globalisation in India brought higher growth rate in urban areas, while lack of infrastructure and poverty characterize rural areas. India is the worlds youngest nation but India is not able to take care of its children. Its grey population is increasing but its joint family system is breaking. India is ruled by female president but its female population is decreasing. These are all silent yet serious concerns for its future. Due to such differences in abilities, India is going through tremendous social, technological and economic transitions. The pre-industrial, industrial and IT cultures are co-existing in India, some times with great harmony and sometimes with utter chaos. It is no wonder that India’s action towards UD is little as compared to many countries.

≪to be continued...≫

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