Helping fellow disabled cope with uncertainties


  • Nation
  • Friday, 06 Aug 2004

KUALA LUMPUR: Being disabled has not hindered one man from helping others like him cope with life’s uncertainties. 

Chris S. Kalithasan was only 21 when the doctor told him he would not be able to walk again.  

 

 

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Kalithasan greeting Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk S. Veerasingam after the press conference yesterday.  

Then a supervisor at a nursery, he had fallen from his motorcycle and was warded for a month before the doctor gave him the bad news.  

At that point, he lost the will to live and attempted suicide thrice by drinking poison and riding his bike at high speed. 

“I felt that life was finished. It was very difficult for me to accept the situation for the first six years but a pastor’s visit to the hospital when I was there for some treatment changed my life.  

“She gave me a lot of moral support. Without her, I wouldn’t be here,” he said on Wednesday at a press conference. 

Kalithasan, 38, is currently the president of Service Kioku One-Stop Centre, a non-governmental organisation set up in the Klang Valley to help the disabled and less fortunate. 

Established last year, the centre offers moral support as well as vocational training to help the disabled fend for themselves. 

Kalithasan said disabled people were often treated like as if they were sub-human. 

“We didn’t ask to be handicapped. We suffer and it is not easy being us,” he said.  

Disabled people, he added, were often stared at in public places or were segregated and some had been denied job opportunities. 

However, he did not blame the public for he believed that “they do not know us.” This had motivated him to organise the Disabled People's Family Day this year. 

“We hope to bring the disabled and people with spinal chord injuries to the event to mingle with the public. 

“We want the public to understand us better, know our capabilities, talents and needs, and hopefully change their perception of us,” said Kalithasan, who is from Johor. 

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be launching the event at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa here on Oct 3. 

Kalithasan urged both the public and private sectors to contribute to the event, which would cost some RM60,000. 

He said 40 letters had been sent to corporate bodies seeking sponsorship but the response had been poor to date. 

Those wishing to contribute can call him at 03-77827640/ 016-3603527/012-2487693.  

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