A discussionvhas been going on here about disability rights in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, but what about other countries across the world, especially third-world countries? We need more rights. I attest to that, and am one of the many witnesses than can testify about the lack of rights. Others who are in worse conditions, however, have much more to complain about.
I am currently living in a city where the population knows a large divide: there are the elites, and there are the poor neighborhoods. There are some middle-class neighborhoods in Cartagena, Colombia, but not many. This is a common problem across the world, of course. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. But in some places, the difference is striking.
In Colombia, the lack of wheelchairs is far greater than other locations, but not for the amount of money per se. Although this is often an issue, there are countries where the population is in much dier need for financial support, yet it know less mobility problems. Why is that? Well, it is a very little known fact, that Colombia’s forty-something-year war, has left a great many incapacitated, and not just the soldiers fighting. This country is filled with landmines. As a matter of fact, it is the country in the Americas with the highest number of landmines, and ranks third on the international level. Yet, it is a country that is not receiving sufficient aid on the matter. On the contrary--the Americans only send in more soldiers, on top of the three enemy groups here already fighting endlessly (guerilla, military and para-military) to add to the bloodbath. Then, there are the regular causes of disability: disease, birth defects and accidents. The need is tremendous.
At this point, across the world, there are over one hundred million people who need a wheelchair and cannot have one, for lack of supply, or lack of money to purchase it. Without them, people cannot go to school, to work, out with friends and family, or church. In these countries, they rely on family and friends to carry them around.
The situation needs to change. In the case of Colombians, informing people of the corruption related to drugs, which fuels this never-ending war, would be a great help. Please pass the message around.
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