I Crave Self-Reliance by Viraj Bhat

Being dependent on others in daily life, even when one is not disabled mentally or physically, is in my opinion the worst kind of disability. I have learnt this the hard way.

I am an autistic person but autism isn't exactly a disability. It is just a different perception of and way of interacting with one's surroundings. I may be wrong but I believe autistic people are prone to acquiring habits of people he or she associates with for a long time.

In my house, my mom tends to hire too many helpers. This has been the case since when I was 6 years old. This didn't go down well with me as I craved for the thrill of being self-reliant. The explanation she gave for keeping so many helpers was that she doesn't have the stamina to do all the work herself and I also need to focus on my academics. She has earned my dislike for this. Eventually, I gave up on the thought of being self-reliant in household chores.

To be self-reliant in performing household chores and in handling finances, one has to have a training from childhood itself, with some support from family members. In a country like India, one can survive without academic qualifications. But if he/she cannot perform household chores or handle budget and finances on his/her own, then life can become difficult and stressful.

Although I myself wasn't fortunate enough to learn household work, I can train my kids to do so, and not depend too much on helpers.

Viraj Bhat

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