The life of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar (a prominent Indian leader, jurist, economist, and social reformer) was a pursuit of social justice. He has instilled a sense of hope in me for our tribe’s injustice that changes are possible. Here is my take on him and our nonspeakers revolution.

Ambedkar was a remarkable man. His work resonates deeply with me now that I am part of a marginalized community myself. He was unflinching in his belief that those on the lower end of the social ladder needed empowerment and support. He was uncompromising in his actions that led to enshrining of these rights in the Indian constitution. His positions were not always popular and India also had to deal with several competing priorities in terms of getting its independence from the British. The fact that Ambedkar helped architect such a forward looking framework, that has stood the test of time, is a huge testament to who he was and his ability to work with others on lasting social change.

The non-speaker revolution is at its infancy. There are so many deeply entrenched beliefs on who we are and heavy skepticism on what we can do. The way the society is designed around us, it is in the best interest of many, but us, that we remain this way. But there are some incredible leaders emerging in this movement that are already driving meaningful change. There is a lot to learn from turning the pages of history and learning from the likes of Ambedkar about creating lasting social reform that values everyone equally and empowers participation and contributions, making the world better for all.

May the legacy of leaders like Ambedkar continue to inspire social movements for generations to come.

Swarit Gopalan

About the Author

I am an 11-yr old autistic, nonspeaker that uses letterboard to spell/keyboard to type to communicate.I live with my family in Florida and go to Invictus Academy for school. 
I find a lot of solace in expressing myself through poetry. Music and nature also help me stay in the present, there is nothing better for me than to have my movement create a symphony with nature and to truly enjoy the sights and sounds. Living in harmony with nature is my life’s mission.
Right from the time of diagnosis, we are only told about all things we cannot or will not be able to do. Along with the check that is written to the doctor for the diagnosis, it often feels like our agency is written off too, especially without a reliable communication mechanism.  
Time to change the paradigm with more non speaker voices. It has always been a dream to share my thoughts and perspectives with the world so that I can be one of the catalysts to creating a better understanding of non speakers in general. 
My hope is that my words will help change the world from sympathy and pity for those like me to one of deeper understanding of our lives and allyship to ensure our rights.

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