Prajith Jaipal aims to become first quadriplegic person to drive around the world
When it comes to promoting awareness about disability rights and accessibility, there's no distance that's too far for Prajith Jaipal. This Kerala-based activist is now planning a cross country drive to motivate people with disabilities and is looking for sponsors.
Eighty thousand kilometers, 80 countries in over 400 days through different terrain and weather conditions is not a feat for the faint-hearted. But when it comes to creating awareness about disability and reaching out to people with disabilities, Prajith Jaipal is willing to go that extra mile.
Prajith, a Kerala-based disability rights activist, says he started thinking about doing this soon after he completed his 8,500-km drive across India in 2018.
When I did the drive across India, I encountered so many issues that confront the disabled community - the poor accessibility, stigma and our own unwillingness to come out of the four walls of our home. By embarking in this drive across all these countries, I want to break all world records and show the world what we are capable of. - Prajith Jaipal, Disability rights activist
Prajith, who was left disabled in a bike accident nine years ago, is aiming to be the first quadriplegic in the world to complete such a mission. "This is the first time a quadriplegic person anywhere in the person is attempting this and I hope to enter the Guinness Book for Records for this.
Prajith plans to travel with a doctor and a car mechanic. An experienced driver, he is looking for a suitable car for such a long and hard drive. A recent tweet by him seeking a modified vehicle for the trip has attracted a response from Tata Motors. The estimated cost of the trip will be USD 219, 000, and Prajith hopes to attract similar support to help fund the trip.
During the journey he hopes to connect with the disabled community as well as manufacturers of wheelchairs and assistive aids and devices for an Ability Expo he hopes to organize in his home state in 2021. "I plan to meet people who are ready to help the disabled community and want to identify participants for the expo. It would also be great to identify people who would offer scholarships for the education of disabled youth in India.
The journey will be arduous for sure and Prajith's companion Dr Brinu J A is confident he is up to the drive. "He has done the countrywide drive before and I saw how well he coped so I am quite confident he has the experience, strength and skill to do this.
Prajith plans to start his journey on 15 December this year from Kozhikode, Kerala and drive to New Delhi where he hopes to have Prime Minister Narendra Modi present to flag off his drive. In August he plans to visit the national capital to convey his plans to the PM and get support.