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Some tips for wheelchair users to make cooking fun this Diwali

It is that time of the year when our homes and roads are decorated with beautiful lights and flowers. Diwali is here! People from across India are gearing up to celebrate this festival by wearing new clothes, shopping and of course, cooking lots of food! No festival is complete without having a lovely meal with family and friends. If you are a wheelchair user and is wondering how to help your family cook a delicious feast this Diwali, we have some tips for you.

Sarath PS is a wheelchair user and entrepreneur from Kerala. Since he used to live alone for a long time, Sarath cooks well. He has some great tips for other wheelchair users who love cooking.

Safety and accessibility are the most important factors to keep in mind when you work inside a kitchen. Accessibility begins from entering the kitchen. There are many homes where there are steps to enter the kitchen. This creates accessibility problems for wheelchair users. All the ingredients and even water for cooking must be available at your fingertip. Most people with spinal cord injuries cannot feel any sense when they touch things. Hence, even if hot boiling water falls on them, they are unable to feel it. Later, this causes a lot of infection in the area. Hence, you must be extremely careful- Sarath PS, Wheelchair user and Entrepreneur

Check out these tips to make sure that cooking this Diwali is fun and safe

  • Be organized- We all plan ahead on what to cook when we have guests at home. Diwali cooking is even more special because you will have a variety of dishes and many sweets to add to the grandeur of your spread! So plan everything in advance. If you have to de-clutter your kitchen to make space to keep stuff, do that. Basically, whatever you need for cooking must be available at your fingertip. To make things easier, you can store curry powders and masalas in container boxes so that you can access them easily.
  • Make use of accessible kitchen tools- While cooking, accessibility is very important. Today, many accessible kitchen tools are available in the market. This makes things easier for a wheelchair user. When you go out shopping next time, buy a can opener, portable moving cart, food processors and sink faucet which are of some of the main tools that can make your kitchen work easier.
  • Store things at accessible places- If you are a person with less mobility, you must ensure that everything is accessible. Hence, you can adapt your kitchen accordingly. Store containers at heights where you can access them without any help. This will make cooking easier, hassle free and fun for you.
  • Safety matters- Are you someone who does not cook much, but wants to give it a try this Diwali? Follow the above mentioned tips. But make sure that safety is your first priority. Keep a first aid kid somewhere near the kitchen where it is easily accessible. You can have a band aid kit, Burnol, Dettol and other basic medications inside the kit.

In the case of Dhanya Gopinath, who is a wheelchair user, accessibility is her main concern. Dhanya who is from Kerala, cooks food and sells it to students who live in her neighbourhood!

"I started developing an interest in cooking by watching my mother cook. I used to help her chop vegetables and sort things out. I love cooking the traditional Kerala fish curry, and it comes out well. I love making Kerala snacks as well. They are quite easy. I ensure that my mom keep everything at a place that is accessible to me", says Dhanya Gopinath, wheelchair user

So what delicious dishes are you going to make this festive season? Try out some new dishes. Spread happiness and joy to your family and friends this Diwali.

ALSO READ: Here are some things to consider around a wheelchair using person

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