We all at some point in time go on a holiday, be it for a weekend or for a long period, be it closer to home or miles away. And the main motive behind this vacation is to get away from routine, to free your mind, to unwind, to relax and definitely to explore something and even learn something new. But have you ever thought how a particular sight would be difficult to see if you were to have some sort of disability.
When I travelled in the UK and Europe, I always noticed that ‘Accessibility’ was given a huge amount of importance. Starting from the public transport to the tourist sites and other infrastructure… If there is a person on wheelchair waiting to board a bus, the bus would lower down and drop the ramp to let the disabled in. Most of the tube stations had escalators or lifts. Even at tourist places, accessibility was never an issue. New Tourist attractions would be designed keeping in mind their needs; and old, historical places are revamped to include such facilities.
The problem is here, in India! Accessibility is important not only to disabled people, but also, senior citizens, pregnant women, heart patients, injured and even people with babies. Arvind Prabhoo, Nishant Khade, Sunita Sancheti and Neenu Kewlani, all wheelchair users who love to travel are now taking up for this cause with vehemence and perseverance so that others, like them, too can travel independently in comfort. They will travel around India in 80 days, by road. They will visit 28 states and 40 Cities, 2 tourist places in each state and audit the accessibility.
Their objective is to meet Chief Minister and Disability Commissioner of every state and brief them about barrier free tourism. Submit the access audit report and other observations to the State Tourism Board, Chief Minister, Disability Commissioner and Indian Tourism Department Corporation (ITDC). To encourage Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to replicate the ‘Access 4 All’ model of car rental service for disabled. To network with other NGOs, active groups and government agencies working in the disability sector. Sensitize them and promote the importance and need of Barrier Free Tourism for All. To be able to achieve this, they need our help in raising funds.
Guys, this is a much needed and very good initiative and I would request you all to contribute in whatever way you can towards this mission. Do get in touch with us if you are interested and we will give you details of how to go about it. Every Little Helps!