Some tips for disabled people to beat loneliness and meet new people
Having a disability does not mean that it is end of the tunnel. It only means that there are more challenges awaiting you which make you a stronger person than any other person without a disability! India is home to thousands of para athletes, sportsmen, models, actors and experts who have showcased their talents on public platforms. They have stood out from the rest with their grit, determination and courage. So what makes a disabled person think that they cannot carry on with their lives just like any other person?
One of the biggest challenges faced by a disabled person is loneliness. Most people, due to a disability, are unable to leave their homes. Hence, they miss finding out right companions, friends or partners.
The most important thing is that a disabled person must have the right attitude. Do not think that you are someone who needs to be confined inside your home. Once your attitude changes, the society starts looking at you in a positive way. Social media including WhatsApp is a big boon to people with disabilities. We form groups. Personally, I’am part of over 15 WhatsApp groups and I have travelled a lot to meet participants of the group. We organize meetings and programs together. That is a great way to meet people. Since I’am active in social work, I get to interact with a lot of new people too- Sarath PS, wheelchair user from Kerala.
Here are some ways to beat loneliness and meet new people to find support
- Join support groups- Every community have support groups with similar people coming together for a cause. This is a great way to meet and greet new people! When you meet new like-minded people, you can have great conversations that help you come out of your boredom and loneliness. They also point out your pros and cons where there is scope for improvement. There are thousands of people out there who are lonely and are longing for companionship. Make sure you join the right groups to experience the beauty of companionship!
- Utilize technology- Today, we have numerous mobile apps that help you find new people. It does not have to be an app where you find dates and partners. There are numerous apps that support great friendships too. So if you come across someone with a similar interest do not hesitate to introduce yourself. Who knows, you might meet your best friend for life in one of those apps!
- Engage in activities- Disabled people do not have to be confined to the four walls of their house. They have a lot of things to explore in the world out there! If you are passionate about music and dance, enroll for one of the classes. It will help you know more about your favourite art and will also be a great platform to meet new people. You can also take up volunteering with one of the NGO’s in your neighbourhood.
- Adopt a pet- We all know that animals are man’s best friends. They don’t judge you or make you feel low. They only have oodles of unconditional love for you. There are thousands of homeless animals on streets and shelters. Try giving them a home and experience the love that they give back to you. In fact, animal therapy is scientifically found to be helpful for disabled children, elderly people and even those with dementia. Dogs run around and walk a lot. That way, even you get out of your house. You can go with your pet for a stroll in a nearby park and meet new people. All kind-hearted and loving people love animals. So you are surly going to meet someone who wants to pet your furry friend at the park! Start a conversation and see how compatible both of you are.
“I’am part of a few support groups. It is a great way to meet new people. So I keep getting calls from people with disabilities asking me a lot of queries. All of them are good friends, and I have some friends from my school as well whom I’am regularly in touch with. Right now, I’am happy in the space that I’am in. So do what makes you feel peaceful and happy. Hope for the best, rest everything will fall in place”, says Srividya, wheelchair user from Hyderabad.