My name is Karthikeyan and I hail from Pondicherry, South India. I spent 15 years in an orphanage, a very special place that enriched my life immensely. It fosters 111 marginalized children, non-disabled and intellectually disabled. Growing up in our home we were all equal. We lived together, played together and helped each other out. Everyone had his or her responsibilities. Only in the world outside did our differences become more visible. I could go to school; my intellectually disabled brothers and sisters couldn’t. Later when we grew older, those of us who were part of the mainstream “normal” folk found jobs and felt integrated into society. But our intellectually disabled siblings were still not accepted and were treated with pity rather than empathy. This behavior towards them made me indignant and unhappy. I felt it was unfair to underestimate their abilities. I felt that their potential was not utilized. read more…