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South Asia and Disability Studies

Redefining Boundaries and Extending Horizons

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Edited By Shridevi Rao and Maya Kalyanpur

Incorporating scholarship that addresses the social, economic, cultural, and historical facets of the experience of disability in South Asia, this book presents the reader with a comprehensive, cogent, and nuanced view of the constructions of disability in this region. In doing so, it focuses on the lived experiences of people with disabilities and their families, analyzing such disabling barriers as poverty, caste, and other inequities that limit their access to education, employment, equity, and empowerment. It addresses the interpretations of disability within different South Asian contexts including policy, family, educational systems, films, and literary narratives. Situated in an interdisciplinary perspective that spans areas such as cultural studies, law, disability studies in education, sociology, and historiography, South Asia and Disability Studies presents a rich and complex understanding of the disability experience in South Asia. The organization of topics parallels the discourse in areas within disability studies such as identity construction, language, historical constructions of disability, and cultural representations of disability.
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Addendum in 2013 to Chapter 6

Extract

Kindly note: An updated URL for the website for annotated bibliographies given in footnote 1 of the reprint is provided at the end.

While considering an update for the article above, I noticed that Jane Buckingham (2011) gives useful and critical coverage of the past decade in an article on “histories of disability in India,” including some medical history and current politics. Instead of covering that ground again, it makes more sense to give some explanatory background to my 2001 article. Christine Miles and I returned to the UK after 12 years in Peshawar (1978–1990), where we had been developing services and resources for disabled children, with Pakistani colleagues who further developed the work after we left. It had taken us six or seven years to begin to perceive the conceptual world in which Pakistanis lived and worked and thought. We were slow to wake up— but fortunately then had several more years in which to learn something about that conceptual world, which overlaps with the “western world” but has many significant, and some substantial, differences of meaning and emphasis, perception and dimension. Most of the “western” efforts to promote “development” across Pakistan (and across South Asia) hardly seem to fit the everyday realities of the world in which Pakistanis actually live and are engaging with huge forces of change. Although there are considerable variations across Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, they have far more in common at a deeper level than any of them has with European...

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