Love does not discriminate based on any caste, colour, religion, preference or any body type. On Valentine’s Day, Kalyani Khona talks about how it’s time that we become more inclusive as a society and give #inclusivelove a chance. 

The blossoming of the feeling of love in your heart is the truest emotion you can ever experience as a human being! This overwhelming emotion does not discriminate based on any caste, colour, religion, preference or any body type.

While we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, suddenly every nook and corner is abuzz with the dizzying madness of love and I am often left answering the same question, ‘how do people with disability experience love’?

Kalyani Khona SheThePeople
Love and Disability – Kalyani Khona’s Startup Is Focussed On The Same

While we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, suddenly every nook and corner is abuzz with the dizzying madness of love and I am often left answering the same question, ‘how do people with disability experience love’?

Through my journey with Inclov, which is the world’s first matchmaking app focusing on people with disabilities to find love, I’ve come to a conclusion.

They sing songs in love just like we all do, they sulk when heartbroken, like we all do and they celebrate and experience love in the same way you and I do. Because in the matters of the heart – there are no limitations.

After knowing the stories of several friends and fellow members from the community, I can pointedly state that nothing about them is different. Yes, they go about dating and experiencing intimacy differently due to their physical limitation or discomfort but when it comes to friendship and love, what they’ve taught me what no Dr Love could.

People with disabilities can be some of the most loving and forgiving individuals you will ever meet and the stories of Inclov couples has left me befuddled on more occasions than one.

I had met Anjali last year and we have become very good friends with time. Anjali was looking for a partner for long but somehow she wasn’t able to find the right one for herself. I advised her to look for a partner without any preconceived notions and biases about anyone. She met Arpan (faces cerebral palsy) and fell in love with his extraordinary personality. The two got engaged a couple of months earlier and are all set to be married in June this year.

In the words of Anjali, “I was really naive and my misconceptions had always made me avoid people with physical impairments. But Arpan has changed that and I can proudly say that he is the best person I have ever met and he is definitely the best partner I could ever find”.

Several misconceptions persist about the ability of people with disabilities to experience the emotion of love and the want for a relationship. Somehow, it is hard for people to fathom that differently-abled people can also feel and experience love the same way as the able-bodied individuals would.

While we are all one unfortunate accident away from having temporary or permanent physical impairments, one must also believe that a person with a disability should and does experience the same highs and lows of emotions and reacts to them just like everyone else.

The journey of countless people with disability finding their life partner have taught me one lesson I must share with you all – Resilience to difficulties you two face together and compassion towards your support systems/families will make your relationship a long-lasting and successful one.

It’s time that we become more inclusive as a society and give #inclusivelove a chance this Valentine’s Day.

Kalyani Khona is a TEDx speaker and the Co-Founder and CEO of ​Inclov – world’s first inclusive matchmaking app designed for people with disabilities. The views presented are author’s own.

Also Read: How Finding Love Empowers The Differently-Abled

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