Arman Ali, 40, is a disability rights activist and a resident of Delhi. Originally hailing from the city of Guwahati, a sprawling city beside the Brahmaputra in Assam, his life story is rather applaudable. Ali has Cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. He has faced discrimation because of his disability. From leaving school to be called a pakistani for not standing up, Arman has seen all colors of discrimination but has also fought for his rights without letting the cruelty of the world conquer him.
Arman was born in a big family including his mother, father and 6 brothers. Arman lost his father six years back. When Arman’s parents got to know about his condition, they tried to get him treated by the best of the doctors across the country.
“Because of my disability, I was treated differently. Wherever you go people look at you differently. When I was in Kindergarden, basic things like the school toilet were not accessible for me”, said Arman.
For a small boy, it was not comprehensible why these basic things are not accessible to him while they are for other students. One day, the school principal asked Arman’s father to withdraw him from the school. This took a toll on Arman mentally.
“I avoided meeting and talking to people. I joined an open school which gives you the option of staying at home and continuing your studies”, said Arman.
Many of us sympathize with people with disabilities while some make their life more difficult. One day Arman went to a cinema hall with his niece where he was called a Pakistani for not standing up during the time of the national anthem. He was also refused a ride by Uber. Why? Because Arman asked the cab driver to put his wheelchair on the back seat while the driver refused to do that and gave him the reason that it would spoil his seat.
“I went to a gym and people didn’t encourage or like it that a person with a disability is here, working out with them. I was asked to wait for hours and sometimes asked to come the next day. They even asked me to come at a very odd hour when the gym will probably be empty”, said Arman.
Arman realised that it’s not how things should go on and he has to fight for himself because there is a need to make people aware which can be done only by setting an example for it. Ali filed a petition in Guwahati High Court saying that his fundamental right has been denied.
If we believe in ourselves and not what others think about us, we can make things that matter really happen. Ali had different experiences in his life but he continued to make himself proud of who he is. With a passion for shooting, he has participated in shooting events of national level.
This was the story of Arman who continues to move on with life without any compromise no matter what the circumstances are.