Senikula: Act of pitying ‘demeaning’

Ruci Senikula during the White Cane Day celebrations yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

RUCI Senikula says she finds the act of pitying visually impaired people demeaning.

The 33-year-old from Bau in Tailevu has been visually impaired since birth.

She currently works as a program officer for Pacific Disability Forum.

“I find it irritating and annoying when people try to have that pity attitude towards us, they shouldn’t see the disability of person instead they should be looking at the capabilities one has to achieve something.

“Sometimes people try to feel sorry for me because I am visually impaired, but they don’t know my background and the achievements I’ve made in life, just because I am using a white cane doesn’t mean I can’t do what other people can do,” Ms Senikula said.

She has also worked for various NGOs in Fiji after graduating from the University of the South Pacific.

Ms Senikula said people’s attitude towards people living with disabilities should change and that they should be more encouraging.

“They should encourage us because that’s what we need in this situation. Sometimes they force themselves on us to offer assistance in public places, at least they should request us if we need assistance, for me personally they will just come and grab my hand to help me cross a busy road,” she added.

As part of her job, Ms Senikula has travelled to countries such as South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, India, Philippines, USA, Samoa and Kiribati.

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