“Amma, you are perfectly fine. There is really no need to get a certificate saying you had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis..” said my daughter when a friend told me I should get a certificate that might give me some benefits like cheaper travel and so on.
Now, I really do not wish to trivialise what the government seeks to provide through what is termed a “disability certificate”. This is necessary to access benefits afforded under the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995) in India. For, disability can be painful and burdensome for individuals and may present special challenges for individuals and their families.
Despite the advantages it affords, the act also presents a challenge for the disabled in another area of their health and rights – namely, the protection of their privacy. These privacy concerns arise because of the way the Act is implemented and what individuals must do in order to qualify for benefits under its provisions. Specifically, individuals seeking benefits must obtain a disability certificate from a specified government healthcare provider. The certificate itself needs to display a photograph (certified by due authority), as well as the name and address of the individual, which can increase the risk of confidentiality breach should the certificate be misplaced or stolen, or merely viewed by unauthorised persons. Further, the certificate details not only the diagnosis, but also the duration of illness and degree of disability.
Apart from the process, I feel there is a major impact on the psyche of the person himself/herself and their families. It would be better if all energies will diverted instead to combat the challenge of the illness or disability so that one forgets that there is a challenge. The more one forgets, the more the universe responds will options for complete wellness. In my case, I am complete fine now due to exploring what are called complementary therapies.
Complete wellness is of course doing all that one can without comparing oneself with others in all areas. That of course, requires a complete change of mindset which is of course a life long commitment that we all need to make to ourselves all the time.