Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Plight of the Handicapped in Society

The Journalist Notebook of the Korean Times has an incident of a deaf and dumb grandfather leaving the Seoul Catholic Mission for the Deaf and Dumb after drinking with a friend. He tried to take a taxi but could not make himself understood , went to the nearest police station for help. The police officer in charge thought he was a drunk homeless person and since he couldn't understood what he was saying acted violently towards him. The grandfather is now in an unconscious state.

This is hard to believe, he goes on to say of the action of one who is to protect and serve the citizens. Even the family was deceived by the police station's efforts to hide what happened.

Because of the families continual entreaties and demands, the truth gradually came out. They had the CCTV tape which they finally made known which showed the deaf man giving the police officer his memo and being pushed. The police have made know that they will review the case.

There is a fear the journalist says that many will say 'those things do happen" and just ignore the lack of sensitivity to the plight of our handicapped people . It can be written off as just a case of a police officer having to deal with a drunk and losing his cool.

The conclusion is that our society according to the journalist, still has some way to go in our treatment of the handicapped. The way we treat the handicapped is a sign of the maturity of our culture; it is the responsibility of all to be concerned for the alienated.

Korea has come a long way in the treatment of the handicapped. The continual efforts of the mass media and members of society in exposing some of the affronts to those with disabilities will help us all to be more sensitive to their difficulties in being accepted as brothers and sisters.

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