Health Watch
World Zero Discrimination Day 2016
The Zero Discrimination day is celebrated to end discrimination and promote tolerance, diversity and equality. People across the world are discriminated against based on their religion, sexuality, gender, race, height, weight, profession, skin color, nationality and even if they succumb to certain diseases.

WHO introduced the Zero Discrimination Day in the year 2014 to coincide with the World AIDS Day. It has been celebrated since then as a day restricted to spread awareness about this facet of society and to encourage equality.

Discrimination is prejudiced behavior towards people who belong to certain groups or situations, affecting their basic rights as a human being. It leads to the physical, emotional and socio-economic burden that can affect society as a whole.

People, who feel discriminated against, feel a sense of insecurity and low self-esteem that can affect their work, leading to lower productivity. The emotional scars that are left behind may remain for years leading to aversion towards the perpetrators of the prejudice.

A study conducted by Budhwani A and colleagues among racial minorities who settle in the USA found that there existed a deep-seated depression among the ethnic minorities. This led to certain communities staying in USA a lot less than they would have under more inclusive settings. The lowest depression rates were witnessed among Afro-Caribbeans at 7% and Asians born abroad at 8%. This is indicative of the psychological effects of discriminations against racial groups.

On the other hand, Anglin DM and colleagues found that racial and ethnic minorities who had a strong affiliation with their ethnic group did not suffer from psychosis associated with racial discrimination.

Discrimination against people with diseases like leprosy and mental illness should also be actively dissuaded to ensure that proper medical care is available and sought out by the patient.

Coping with Discrimination:
  • Assess the Situation: Find out if the situation was indeed a case of discrimination or if there was some misunderstanding.
  • Gather Evidence: It is very important to gather evidence to support claims. This will prevent the perpetrator from backtracking.
  • Report an Issue: Be brave and report the misdeed to the highest authority that you can get in touch with. Discrimination is a serious offense and nobody, however high up in the corporate ladder, is too busy to address it.
  • Control your Emotions: People who have been discriminated against feel a seething anger that is not pacified easily. This could lead them to do something that may not be appropriate to their standing or position. Speaking to a trusted friend and letting out steam will help calm you down.
Students are among the most affected as far as discrimination is concerned. They are often left depressed, under undue peer pressure and with a difficulty in concentrating. This forces them to quit school or to resort to suicidal tendencies that have raised International concern.

Schools and colleges now have psychologists who counsel such students and help them cope with the discrimination. However, this rampant threat to basic human rights should be weeded out at the source. Awareness and greater insights into the plight of affected individuals and their potential in society will help curb unfair polarization.

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Source: Medindia

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