In 2010, my son who has Down’s Syndrome (DS), spent his first birthday in an Indian hospital due to severe pneumonia. During late evening of the same day, some sisters from the Missionaries of Charity brought an abandoned newborn boy for treatment.
The hapless infant, also with DS, was placed two beds away from ours. He did not live to see the next morning. A nurse, even while attending to my son with care, saw nothing wrong with saying that the baby was “mentally retarded”.
Fast forward to early 2020. A well-established lawyer abandoned her newborn daughter, with DS, in a state-of-the-art hospital in Nepal. All counselling failed to convince a supposedly educated mind. The infant remained abandoned till a charity took her in its care.
Looking after persons with disabilities involves sensitivity, hard work, some sacrifice of time and freedom, money, right education and the will to fight stigma. It is easier to abandon them instead of working to make the children self-sufficient and including them in all activities.