Young Voices on Disability, India
Yellamma Gangadhar is a young woman who relies on a wheelchair for mobility. Her film tells the story of abandonment by her parents at a bus station in Bangalore, India, subsequent help from the Leonard Cheshire home in the city, and the college education she acquired with great difficulty. The struggle featured in the film is access discrimination. She describes the necessity of climbing 25 stairs with paralyzed legs every day for three years to gain access to higher education because classes were held only on the second floor of the building.
Yellamma is a filmmaker in the Young Voices project of the Leonard Cheshire Disability Global Alliance. The Alliance was founded after World War II by a highly decorated British bomber pilot who devoted his later life to charity. Young Voices uses mass media to raise awareness of the needs of disabled persons globally and to encourage member nations to adopt, ratify, and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Young Voices stories include children and youth with many forms of disability in rural and urban settings around the world. The first-person accounts relate problems of social exclusion, lack of knowledge, and access discrimination in transportation, public buildings, education, and employment.
Video still from the film "Steps" by Yellamma Gangadhar, a participant in the Leonard Cheshire Disability (http://www.lcdisability.org/)Young Voices project from India, UNICEF at http://www.youtube.com/youngvoiceslcd#p/u/18/Th2hj_12Arc (accessed March 29, 2010). Annotated by Susan Douglass.