Accessibility October 14, 2018
This disabled girl from Kerala is fighting roadblocks to get a driver’s license
27-year-old Jilumol Mariet Thomas from Kerala was born without hands and a fighting spirit. A spirit that has enabled her to chase a childhood dream of driving her own car.
Jilumol has had to knock on many doors for that as no government official is willing to sign on her application for a driver’s license. Instead of encouraging her, they mocked and ridiculed her.
Jilumol refused to give up and moved a petition in the Kerala High Court that granted her permission to apply for a driver’s license. But that has not changed anything for her as government officials are unwilling to give her a chance.
Jilumol applied for a learner’s license at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Thodupuzha, a small town in Kerala. She knows how to drive automatic cars, but without a driver’s license, she cannot take her car out on the road.
The RTO officials told me that there is no law to register a person without hands. When the honourable High Court of Kerala has granted me the permission, why would the officials deny me of my rights? I am going back to the court to point this out. Last few days have been emotionally and mentally exhausting. It is extremely disheartening to see this kind of discrimination- Jilumol Mariet Thomas.
According to the RTO officials, Jilumol is not eligible to drive a car because she does not have hands. To meet the demands of High Court, Jilumol even brought a new car and customized it according to her requirements with the help of friends and family members who pooled in funds to make her dream come true!
A graphic designer, Jilumol says she has been running around trying for the permissions.
“All the alterations in my car were made according to how the RTO officials asked me to. When I went there with my car, they said they are helpless. How much more will I have to struggle to drive my own car?”, she says.
This braveheart, however, is determined not to give up. She has taken on all the challenges head on and she is determined to win this battle too.
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