THE achievements of Paralympians who did the nation proud with three gold medals so far, is indeed an inspiration to both the able-bodied and those with disabilities.
It goes to prove that if we have the will, there is a way for us to attain our goals in whatever field.
For sportsmen, the Olympics and the Paralympics is the highest arena in which they can compete.
Malaysia’s first gold medal at the Paralympics 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was won by Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi, while the second came from Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli. The third goal went to Abdul Latif Romly – an amazing feat indeed.
Their victories were all the more sweeter as Muhammad Ziyad and Abdul Latif set two world records at the event.
Disabled athletes have to overcome various shortcomings. It has often been said that being involved in a sport is itself an achievement for a disabled person.
But when they actively compete in a major sports event, it only speaks volumes of their strength and endurance.
It also gives us the opportunity to discuss the outstanding feats of the disabled and examine the attitude most of us have towards them.
I think there must be wider acceptance from the public for the disabled.
Many are keen to work and contribute towards nation building, but are prevented from doing so because of discrimination and other obstacles.
While in recent years, much has been done to uplift those with disabilities, mainstream schools have not really been inclusive in accepting and providing for such students.
They do not have adequate facilities to cater to their disabled learners.
We as Malaysians must keep fighting for more opportunities and equality for them.
The mark of a civilised society can be seen in the way we treat the vulnerable, and they certainly include the disabled.
It’s not too late to start. The success of the Malaysian Paralympians should be reason enough to challenge people’s attitudes towards the disabled in the country. Let’s get going!