Differently Abled

The Correct Label

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Last month Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi allocated himself a portfolio dedicated to people with disabilities. One of his first diktats since taking over has been to ban the use of the phrase ‘physically handicapped’ in his government. The Chief Minister has ordered that all related departments refer to the handicapped as ‘differently abled’, in deference to a United Nations convention. So now, there’s the Commissionerate for the Welfare of Differently Abled, and the Tamil Nadu Welfare Board for the Differently Abled, even a Commissioner for the Differently Abled and a District Differently Abled Welfare Officer.