Here are some daily challenges faced by wheelchair users
Being on a wheelchair can be different for many reasons. In fact, wheelchair users undergo various issues on a daily basis. From inaccessibility to even public places that are not disabled friendly, challenges are many. When it comes to accessibility, we have a long way to go. Government apathy is definitely a barrier in making places more accessible.
Sunitha Thrippanikkara, an artist from Kerala, says daily travel is a struggle.
Most of the taxi services are not disabled-friendly. Hence, it is difficult to even go to places. They even refuse to come. It is the same when we take a train or flight too. Trains have coaches for disabled people. But they allow only one person to accompany you in the coach. I need help of two people to go to washrooms. So now I’am forced to travel in normal coaches which are even more difficult. In flights, they make you change at least three wheelchairs until you get inside the flight. Many disabled people find all that extremely difficult. Due to inaccessibility, we are forced to not go outdoors- Sunitha Thripanikkara
Check out these daily challenges faced by wheelchair users
- Transport – Imagine being in a situation where you want to go out but cannot because of inaccessibility? Wheelchair users face this on a daily basis. Public transport in India has a long way to go when it comes to being disabled-friendly. Our buses, cars or even auto rickshaws are not designed for wheelchair users. This makes travel a nightmare for wheelchair users. Most of the time, wheelchair users do not have an option but to get another person’s help for transport. So nowadays, wheelchair users are relying on their own modified cars that they can drive. This makes commuting easier and hassle free.
- Parking – Many wheelchair users now drive their own specifically modified cars. But when it comes to parking their car at a spot, things get difficult. In India, most of the public places and government offices have exclusive parking spaces for disabled people. But they are often filled by cars and bikes of people without any disabilities! For example, you will notice that most of the railway stations in India have an exclusive parking space. But disabled people hardly get space to park their cars! When a wheelchair user goes for shopping, they find it extremely difficult to park their car, purchase things and bring it back to the car.
- Toilets and washrooms – We all know that having a clean and neat toilet is very important, especially when you are outdoors. For wheelchair users, lack of accessibility can be a hitch in using toilets. Most of the public toilets do not have wheelchair ramps making things tedious for a wheelchair user.
- Inaccessible roads- So if a wheelchair user wants to go out on their own, they find it really hard due to inaccessible roads and streets. Every person loves to be independent. It can be quite irritating when you have to rely on someone else for going outdoors. Potholes, narrow footpaths and litter on roads can make moving around tedious for a wheelchair user.
Anjurani Joy says she hates having to rely on someone else for help while going outdoors.
“Almost all public spaces do not have wheelchair ramps. Hence, going outdoors becomes a tedious task. There are hardly any malls and shops that have exclusive parking facilities for disabled people. So when I go out shopping, I have to rely on someone else for help”