Blank book highlights disabled awareness

Sandip Sodha
Sandip Sodha Image credit:

If you are looking for the next book to read, but time isn’t on your side, you could do worse flicking through a new publication recently released by Sandip Sodha.

Apart from a six-page introduction the remaining 366 pages are left blank to send a message on how the world remains inaccessible to thousands of people.

The 50-year-old with cerebral palsy is the author behind What non-disabled people know about disabled people which highlights issues people with disabilities are still up against today.

Selling the title to readers of MyLondon Sodha said: "Perception of disabled people hasn't changed much over the years.

“I want to create a big debate about this whole situation because it's a big issue."

Motivation behind the book came from Sndip’s growing frustration on how he is perceived and treated by the general public, such as people talking to him through his personal assistant.

Going out on Kensington High Street, a short distance from his home, also proves challenging as there are still a handful of shops which are not wheelchairs despite government legislation stating they should be accessible for all.

Despite having a Masters degree in International Relations and European Politics and a past career working for the Financial Times Sandip feels he’s being turned down for jobs just because of his disability.

"My disability, work history and education would make a perfect fit for a disability-related or not,” he explains.

Sandip also feels with the world currently focused on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic disabled awareness is being overlooked in the media.

He believes the only time government tackles disabled awareness is when an election is around the corner.

"They [politicians] are using us for their political gain," Sandip said.

"There is nothing more infamous than being considered a bait for red-carpet political bribery.

"How paradoxical is it, for example, that when I need to use public transport, I have been granted free access but still need to pay for my personal assistant? Do we really need to wait for an election to have the promise of a free ticket even for companions of disabled people that could not travel alone otherwise?"

What non-disabled people know about disabled people was published on June 19.