Disabled people share holiday stories at Enable Travel event in Bengaluru
From the charms of Karnataka to the lack of sign language interpreters at tourist sites, there was plenty of useful information exchanged at ‘Travel Stories’. The Enable Travel event in Bengaluru, brought together people with disabilities to share their holiday stories!
Enable Travel, which is supported by leading tour operators, Cox and Kings, aims to promote accessible travel for people with disabilities. Since its launch in March 2017, Enable Travel has organized three such events. Going by the huge response from the disabled community at all these events, accessible travel has major potential in India.
Enable Travel claims to be India's first Accessible Holiday Specialist It addresses the travel needs of disabled people in many ways. There are tours put together for disabled people by people with disabilities.
India alone has 23 million disabled people, but where are they? There are no platforms for disabled people to come together. Mobility and accessibility is the biggest hitch for a disabled person to explore and know the world better. That is when ‘Enable Travel’ comes to the rescue, as a tour guide – Debolin Sen, Head, Enable Travel
Many accessible facilities for disabled travellers
The company offers all the facilities to make it comfortable for disabled people to travel. They have vans for wheelchair users, trained drivers and other accessible equipment required to make it a hassle-free experience.
The Enable Travel event in Bengaluru saw a large number of young disabled people. . A market that tour operators should look at targeting seriously. Events like Travel Stories aim to do just that. Enable Travel wanted to get a sense of which cities disabled people want to visit and the kind of experiences they are looking for.
There were over 40 people with disabilities present to share their experiences. Many of them had already been on accessible holidays organized by Enable Travel. Their happy stories helped convey a sense of optimism and confidence among the wannabe disabled travellers.
‘Travel Stories’ has held two such events earlier. The first one was in Delhi, where they held a food walk for the blind through Chandni Chowk.
Next on the agenda is an international experience. This is likely to be a cruise to Thailand. It has all the makings of a fun event with plenty of sightseeing, games and good food.
Given how widespread and diverse the disabled community is in India, bringing them together is a challenge. Enable Travel relies on social networking sites and WhatsApp to do this.
The government of India is taking steps to promote accessible travel for people with disabilities at a macro-level. For instance, airports are made accessible for those on wheelchairs. But at a micro-level, there is a long way to go. Specialized equipment has to be provided so disabled people can travel freely inside cities – Debolin Sen, Head, Enable Travel
Some of the exciting packages that lie ahead for disabled travellers include trips to Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and the United States.The Enable Travel team is geared up to promote tourism for disabled people. They ask – ‘Why should only the abled have all the fun?’