Nagaland's famous Hornbill Festival shows no thought or heart for the disabled

The 10-day Hornbill Festival has started in Nagaland and its an opportunity for the state to show all its glory, from the food to the music.

But if you have a mobility challenge and want to attend, don't even think about it. The amphitheatre is not accessible for a wheelchair user so if you want to hear the music, you will have to hear it from far outside.

Nagaland's flagship event ignores needs of the disabled

Nagaland opens its doors to the world with the Hornbill festival, and tourists come here from all over. But the warmth that is shown to visitors is absent when it comes to the disabled. The venue is not accessible as there are no ramps or other arrangements to make it easy for them to enter the hilly areas.

To build awareness the Nagaland State Disability Forum petitioned for a stall at the Hornbill Festival in 2015. But even this stall is not accessible. In fact most visitors to the festival are not aware that the stall exists as the location is not visible.

This year the tourism department put in some work to build a better approach road but the Forum was not consulted. Since 2015, the Forum has been asking for the festival venue to be made disabled-friendly so people in wheelchairs can access the amphitheatre with somebody assisting them.

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