“attitudinal change”

– all the way from Bangkok

One of the most important and key issue for a variety of social and development issues and a killer factor in addressing these social and development issues such as HIV/ AIDS, disability, STDs, climate change, etc.

I have been thing of this for a long time and realized that different “change makers” and so called activists are trying to tackle these issues independently. If you take any issue like HIV/ AIDS, Climate Change, ethnic conflict or any other issue for that matter you could notice that we are fighting; with the governments to change policies; with people to change the way they think, express and act or visa-versa and most importantly those are common actions no matter what the issue is.

So the fact is that, if we are tackling the same issues, taking similar steps in bringing about change no matter what we are talking about, why can’t we do it all together? Mainstream? Crosscut? Or simply focus all energy through one direction? Won’t it work rather than trying to do things alone?

I am at the moment sitting in a conference on Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) and Disability in Bangkok and continue to hear that the speakers are emphasizing the importance of addressing the need for change in attitudes of people in terms of recognizing every one of them as a part of our community and giving equal opportunities in community.

Why aren’t we understanding the need of working together? Or is it all a setting by the multi-nationals and other Non Governmental and International Non Governmental and or the UN and its bodies working on different issues and not letting this happen? Or am I the culprit here and don’t understand what is happening around?

Most of us are privileged people. We have access to all most all the resources we need; safe food; safe water; clothing; health facilities; financial security, etc. we have all sorts of comforts we need. Is that why we don’t see and understand what others don’t have and they need? Or is it that we know that they don’t have and they need them like we do, but we don’t care for them?

I remember one of my colleagues telling me of what he heard from a friend of his; “none of the persons with visual impairments in Colombo have met with a single road accident”. Well it is a fact! So all the people who meet with accidents are just people like you and me, who are not people with disabilities. Anyways any of us can become disabled any moment, anywhere and anytime.

It’s all up to you guys; every one lobbying for different social and development issues; if we don’t work together and stand up together neither of us will be able to achieve what we intend to or change the attitudes of the people nor we will be able to change the situations in the larger picture we are talking about. So let’s act now before it’s too late.

“now more than ever”

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