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It’s a very sad fact to accept but our country isn’t well-equipped to deal with people with disabilities. How many disabled-friendly washrooms do we find in public places? Or how many places have elevated ramps instead of stairs for wheelchair-bound people? Not many. Besides infrastructure, even many people’s behavior towards those with disabilities is despicable. In the past, there have been cases where wheelchair-bound people have not been allowed to sit inside movie theatres and restaurants.
Politician Shashi Tharoor realized the lack of proper public infrastructure for people with disabilities after he himself became ‘temporarily disabled’ after badly spraining his left foot which left him wheelchair-bound.
Recently, after missing a step inside the Parliament building, he sprained his left foot and had to be hospitalised due to acute pain. He is now “immobilized” with a cast.
A bit of an inconvenience: I badly sprained my left foot in missing a step in Parliament yesterday. After ignoring it for a few hours the pain had become so acute that I had to go to hospital. Am now immobilised w/a cast, missing Parliament today&cancelled wknd constituency plans pic.twitter.com/Ksj0FuchZZ
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 16, 2022
However, on his recent visit to the Parliament, Shashi Tharoor found that there was only one entrance which had a ramp, at door 9, which also was a 4-minute walk away.
“This temporary disability has taught me how poorly equipped we are to support people with disabilities,” he tweeted.
When you need to enter Parliament in a wheelchair, there’s only one entrance with a ramp, at door 9, a good four minute trip (with the assistance of helpers) to the Lok Sabha. This temporary disability has taught me how poorly equipped we are to support people with disabilities pic.twitter.com/X6WyS9Ivvp
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 20, 2022
Several people online, who suffer from disabilities or have a family member/friend who is disabled, agreed with him and pointed out the many other areas that are unfriendly to them. The accessibility to disabled-friendly entrances to malls, airports, stations, etc. is also scarce and the government should duly take note.
Sir in the Parliament at least you got one ramp but in some places we don’t get any accessible entrance. It’s really serious issue. Government should think about accessibility
— Kanchan Lakhani (@kanchanLakhanii) December 21, 2022
That’s actually true. Be it malls, stations, airports, people with disabilities or ‘differently abled’ just get the worst.
— Vin Nair “\V/” (@vinsinners) December 20, 2022
All MPs, should take a visit to Spinal Cord Injury Centre at Military Hospital Kirkee in Pune to see how paraplegic armed forces personnel, in the prime of youth spend their lives. Ask them what you all, as MPs, can do for them and their families. Your injury is just temporary.
— Brigadier P Satish (@Satishp03) December 20, 2022
U can truly understand the need of users only when you put yourself in there shoes! Being a brother of a sister who has been on wheelchair for past almost 25 years in this country, it surprises and pains me to see how even in 2022 we have just reached the realisation stage.
— Vikram Mehta (@VKmehta16) December 21, 2022
I am glad, this situation made you realised about how poorly we are dealing with people with disability in india at present. we need a big change in this sector in future, to improve the life of those people, who living their life with permanent disability..
— Sandeep Uppaol (@sandeepuppal29) December 20, 2022
It’s pathetic state of affairs that only when a politician gets affected that you get his or her attention . Wish you speedy recovery
— Ankur (@R1Nz20) December 20, 2022
Sir in the parliament at least we hv one entrance.There are Rly Stns, Airports, monuments, temples & many more important places which do not hv any facilities for people with special needs. May I request you to kindly raise this point at Govt level for necessary action pls.
— Sharad Singh (@victorsharad) December 20, 2022
In the picture shared by Tharoor, we see 3 people assisting him. But a regular person with a disability might not have any assistance. Keeping such things and much more in mind, the government should truly come up with ways to make public spaces disability-friendly.
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