A consumer complaint

Naseer Ahmed, the writer

A consumer complaint

by, Naseer Ahmed

Dear Sir

I am a blind man. Being blind in our country is a life of sorrow, sadness and suffering because here any loss means an invitation to vultures. I am a bit lucky to have a wonderful family or I would be begging on streets. But this ugliness of our customs, poverty and cruelty does not deny my humanity and my human rights. I am a human like you and I have rights like you. Besides, just like you I have responsibilities too. I need some facilities to enjoy a better life, just like you need some special arrangements to enjoy a better life. I cannot see but you lack compassion and a sense of duty to your fellow citizens. I must inform you that without the help of fellow citizens you cannot enjoy the benefits your shop offers. They are the ones who make laws which help you to set up the businesses and they are your customers. What I am trying to say we all are as fellow humans and fellow citizens are dependent upon one another. We cannot do anything without help of others. Therefore, we should not discriminate against any of us when it comes to providing product and services. Discrimination is a world of criminality of all sorts. It is a crime against humanity, it is a crime against decency, it is a crime against citizenship, it is a crime against society and it is a crime against democracy which creates and exacerbates personal and collective suffering. As people, we are different but we are equals. Therefore, we must respect each other’s rights and we must not violate those laws which are passed by our representatives in order to make lives for better for us all.

I wanted to buy some household stuff.  A friend of mine informed me the quality and standards of your products and services are excellent. She also informed me that you are a very honest and caring businessman. Alas, she was wrong.

You do not know how much I had to suffer just to enjoy your honesty and caring nature. I fell twice on the stairs. I ended up banging my head against the wall. I guess you could see the bumps on my forehead .I lost my walking stick on the way up here which caused a few more minor injuries. It seems desiring a better shopping experience for me resulted in pain and agony. I wonder what happens people with hearing difficulties and people with other difficulties. To me honesty means respecting rights of people and care means following the laws when it comes to human rights.

My rights are protected by international community through its convention on human rights. It clearly asks you to facilitate me when it comes to services according to my needs. The city law says that you must have proper space, ramps, lifts and toilet facilities for me. You have violated all laws .Yet; the world around me believes you to be an honest and caring businessman. That is quite tragic. It breaks my heart because you have played an important role in breaking my body.

I ask you to follow law and implement all necessary adjustments to facilitate disabled people. These are your legal duties. If you do not perform them, I would seek redress through government and courts.

Respect law, respect democracy, respect humanity, and respect human rights. Life would be a package of pleasures and delights.

(I wrote this complaint for Consumer Watch Pakistan)