We have been broadcasting our Radio Show, Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh (MMKND) since the year 2010 and have thus far completed three seasons. The reasoning behind the nomenclature was, on the one hand, to encourage People with Disabilities to move forward instead of letting their disability come in the way of the future. On the other hand, it was to discourage Non-Disabled people from looking at People with Disabilities differently or from treating them in a derogatory manner. Over the years, our show has had quite a large amount of success.
Our latest season, though the shortest of the three, has been equally impactful. The show aired on 17 stations of All India Radio. Since then, persons with and without disabilities have heard the show and have responded to us, whether it was to offer their suggestions, ask for help or simply offer their congratulations. Some were motivated enough to make changes in their own lives or promote change that would help People with Disabilities in general.
Lakhinder Majhi, from the Baishakhi District of Bihar, is one of the many who called. Speaking in the local dialect, he said “suna hai aap log vikalang logon ka madad karte hain”. He was not the only one. Several individuals called us, now knowing who to ask for help. We either took steps to help them ourselves or connected them with people who could. A substantial fraction of these people had problems with vision-related disabilities.
Prasanth Kumble, who is blind and works at the Collector’s office in Mumbai enquired about financial assistance. Bansi of Besawa from Jaipur District who recently turned blind wanted to know about NGOs he could go to for rehabilitation.
Awdhesh Kumar from the village of Post Amahiya District, Barabanki, UP who has a low vision called saying that he needs low vision glasses. Manish Gupta, from Lucknow, who also has low vision, wanted to know about the assistive devices available for low vision, while Ujwala from Nagpur, who is blind, wanted to know about the devices for blind people.
Kaushik Patel from Anand Jila of Sarsa Village, who is also blind, wanted to know where he can go to get a job. Jittesh from Hyderabad who was 22 years of age at the time of the show lost his vision when he was 19. Having heard our episode on sports and disability, this twelfth standard student wanted to know about Blind Cricket.
Although the majority of people asking for help had visual impairments, there were several with other disabilities who also called for the same reason. Kapil Kumar from Pona village of Seoljila district in Madhya Pradesh is a hand amputee who shared his despair in not knowing what to do with his life. Mr Dhananjay Kumar Prajapati from Bihar Rohtak Dist- Bawanpur, who is physically disabled and has a B Sc Pass, called asking for a job.
Muneshwar Kumar who was 19 years of age at the time and has a physical disability is studying B.A. He called asking for financial assistance to pursue higher studies. Mohammed Elias from Mahamadabad, Lakhimpur, Khira District, Uttar Pradesh who acquired a disability later in his life called seeking information regarding rehabilitation.
Mr Sohanlal, who works for Essar, in Mumbai, called after hearing the 5th episode, which was about Right to Education, Inclusive Education and Inclusive Support, mentioning his granddaughter who has autism. He wanted to be put on to Dr Smita Desai who was featured in this particular episode.
Helping these people who were in need of help was not the only way in which MMKND made an impact for the better. Our show also inspired others to make changes for the better or, at least, to think about and discuss how change could come about. Sujata Samant who is partially blind and works for Air India, Mumbai is a member of the Blind Graduate Forum of India. She called us to inform us that she, along with other members, is lobbying with TATA SKY for installing Talking set-top boxes.
Prakash Paul, who is a senior citizen and an amputee from an Ashram at Bhayandar, Mumbai, called saying that he was willing to volunteer at Trinayani. Dhananjay Singh, who is the Executive Director of the National HRD Network of the National Secretariat called from Delhi, requesting a meeting to understand the employability of persons with disabilities in the HR profession. Shailendra from Delhi listened to the Radio Show and expressed the desire to start a unit employing People with Disabilities and said that he would keep in touch and contact Trinayani once he is ready from his end.
At Trinayani, we believe that ignorance is one of the main factors which lead to Attitudinal Barriers which in turn becomes such a hindrance in the lives of People with Disabilities. Despite the changing times, the radio remains one of the mediums of mass communication that have a very wide range. Thus, through our show, MMKND, we were able to reach people from all across the country and take a substantial step in reducing ignorance by spreading awareness.