Need for rehabilitation of the disabled on the street

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Enoch OYEDIBU

It is no news how the disabled today have managed to decorate our streets with their tattered appearances. We have more than enough of them in Ogbomoso, with their number rapidly increasing every day. Meanwhile, it must be noted that the word “disable” doesn’t basically apply to disability in the physical realm alone. It also encompasses the mental or psychological disorderliness, thus when this becomes overwhelming, you see an individual gyrates and roams the street helplessly and aimlessly, noxiously degrading human dignity. Meanwhile, as the streets swarm with these mentally deranged persons, so are the causes of their madness – ritual engagements to satiate a covetous desire which turned awry, consumption of illicit drugs, yet some are victims of spiritual attacks. But whatever is the cause they shouldn’t be left astray on the streets dismantling society integrity. We have seen many of them with frightening ferociousness thereby constituting danger to normal human beings. It has been observed that many of them momentarily regain their senses as they at such times beg for alms, verbally or through signs to which sympathetic citizens do sometimes oblige them. Many of them also carve resting places for themselves to rest at night which they turn to their homes; I have seen some of them making as abode the burial ground of the Ogbomoso Baptist Conference along the old Ogbomoso-Ilorin road near Aroje and even most of them find time to cook and to clean the surroundings. Somehow, their senses act in accordance and in similitude with normal humans. It is therefore imperative that government and the sane society come to their aid to give them proper healthcare. If they are rehabilitated some of them would be restored to sanity or even become less wild. If the insane are not cared for by the sane what difference permeates their existence! One wonders why their population keeps going up in Ogbomoso, however this is attributed to the dumping of this class of humans on the streets from other places, perhaps, Ogbomoso people are guilty of this too, all in a bid to safe themselves of embarrassment of continuously being identified with roving a madman of the streets. Furthermore, the second class of the disabled is the blind and the crippled or amputees on the street. They are swift to beg for alms as if they had attended a begging institute, so going about it as if they are doing white collar jobs, with so much diligence, and the relative success they attain is luring and even influencing many sane persons to begging. In Ogbomoso, there is a congregation of them at Sabo area now called Iyana Afoju (Junction of the Blind). Nevertheless whatever is the case, whether disability of madness, blindness, deafness, being crippled, being an amputee or whatever, there is a certain unique element that conjoins all of them together and which made them land on the street, that element is need – daily meals, shelter and what have you. As I implied earlier, if the insane or the disabled are left unattended to by the sane and able-bodies persons, then it could be asserted that the same affliction worries them. Therefore, there is need to emphasize on the provision of rehabilitation centres with adequate facilities so as to curb this anomaly. This could be government or privately established and maintained. This will importantly restore some of them to normal state and also clean the streets of the perennial eyesore they constitute.

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