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Why Are You Afraid To Hold My Hand?
Reading With Your kids Podcast Interview With Sheila Dhir
“What makes one unique, what sets one apart is the idea, the vision, the creative Start”
Many people believe that Disability is someone else’s problem. They do not believe disability will touch their lives, and give little thought to the experience of living with disability, or caring for someone with a disability. Without first-hand experience, they hold on to the belief that at least things are better than they used to be. Today at Reading with your kids podcast, We are so thrilled to have Sheila Dhir to tell us about her astonishing and inspirational journey of writing her new book Why are you afraid to hold my hand? that deals with society’s attitude towards people with disabilities.
Sheila Dhir won the Indo-Soviet Nehru Award when she was thirteen. A graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and a Masters in Mass Communication from the University of Denver, Colorado, she has written and illustrated several books for children, internationally. Her book Gandhi received the Public Relations Society of India Award in 1984. She currently lives in Rome, Georgia, U.S.A., with her husband and twins.
Tune in as Sheila explains her book is written in verse with illustrations, describes the attitudes, reactions, and misconceptions of people on children with disabilities. It’s a book about attitudes. The child in the book has cerebral palsy, and this is the child’s silent dialogue with society. It also describes the reactions of people, their questions and misconceptions, their doubts, fears and preconceived notions. The child responds in verse – simple and straight from the heart.
Be sure to listen as Sheila talks about purpose behind writing why are you afraid to hold my hands? She also shares her own experience as she encountered people with disabilities and their families, friends and carers are being segregated, excluded, marginalised and ignored. At best they reported being treated as different. At worst they reported experiencing exclusion and abuse, and being the subject of fear, ignorance and prejudice. She wanted to depict the attitudes of society at large towards the differently abled children and this book sensitively describes the dialogue between a disabled child and society at large.
The overall message of this episode of Reading with your Kids podcast featuring Sheila Dhir is to raise awareness about myths and misconceptions about people with disabilities & we hope it can change attitudes towards people with disabilities and create a more inclusive society. We hope you will join us and be part of this journey!
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