Even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested that we call persons with disabilities 'divyang' meaning 'divine body', a BJP minister in Uttar Pradesh seems to not be convinced and have great disdain for those with disabilities.
Uttar Pradesh Khadi minister Satyadev Pachauri, part of Yogi Adityanath's cabinet, was caught on camera using extremely disrespectful language towards a worker in his department in Lucknow.
In a video that has gone viral since the incident, the arrogant minister is seen asking the man what he does and how much he gets paid.
"Kitna baje aate ho (What time do you come)?" Pachauri is seen asking the worker. He then asks, "Are you on provision?"
He then turns to his officials and makes a grossly disrespectful comment saying, "Yeh kya loole langdo ko rakha hai (You have hired a cripple to work)."
He then turns and gestures at the man and says, "Dekho, safai kya kargea bataiye mujhe? Tabhi yeh halat hai safai ki (See, how do you expect him to clean? That is why the state of cleanliness is so bad)."
When the official replies (the reply is inaudible) he says, "Par aap paisa de rahe ho na? Kitna paisa dete ho? (But you are paying him, how much do you pay him)?"
While the motto of the BJP government at the state and at the centre has been 'sabka saath, sabkar vikas', clearly Pachauri seems to believe people with disabilities belong to that demographic.
In the past, Modi had said, "We see a person's disability with our eyes. But our interaction tells us the person has an extra power. Then I thought, in our country, instead of using the word 'viklaang,' we should use the term 'divyaang.' These are people who have a limb or several limbs with divine powers which we don't have."
And if there is an initiative to sensitise people about people with disabilities, it should start with Adityanath's cabinet.
Also In HuffPost India