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I WITNESSED a PWD Degradation

May 27, 2010

This morning I was struck by what I had witnessed—a degradation of a person with disability in public. The culprit must have been the mother of the victim, or an auntie. But I hope I am mistaken…

Anyway, the scene was unexpected. I was really caught unaware, sabihin na nating “natulala”, I wasn’t able to help at all. I felt really bad not being able to. My mind was “flying” as usual as the jeepney I took tread F.B. Harrison St. on my way home. It stopped in front of two women. I did not see the face of the first woman as she tried to get in front of the jeepney beside the driver. I could only see from where I was sitting the older woman accompanying her who was looking very impatient as she waited for her to get in. She was saying something to her companion but I could not hear her. Body language though sent the message how impatient she really was, so much so she pushed the buttock of the girl to help her [so I thought] to get in fast. But there was no gentleness in the way she pushed the girl—it was so hard I could imagine that she must have fallen flat near the driver. I could not see her from my angle. But I saw how the driver was struck by the action as well. From him, my eyes panned to the woman who pushed her. The woman with her did not help her at all, she seemed to be scolding her as she finally positioned herself to sit which was quite fast I did not have enough time to help her get up. I was aghast to see the bystanders laughing at her. I felt irritation and anger within me towards those people.  It was only when she was properly seated that I saw her face reflected on the mirror. She must be in her 20s.

I observed and studied her face and expression. She looked like a person with Down Syndrome.  She was wearing a yellow cap common during the last election. Her bald head was covered with a scarf I could surmise she is a cancer-stricken patient. Yes! She definitely looked sick— emotionally, if not, physically battered. Her eyes were still somewhat bulging from crying. The lines on her face etched a painful and very sad expression. The lack of love and concern was very clear, as clear as her looks that has remained sketched in my memory.

The experience was short but it deeply saddened me because of the thought that there must be a lot of people like her who suffer from discrimination, and supposedly from abled persons who should be taking care of them, or at least give them proper respect and dignity.

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