Accessibility July 7, 2019
Amit KC paves the way for other blind trekkers
Visually impaired trekker Amit KC filed a petition with the Supreme Court after he was barred by the government of India from climbing Mount Everest. The court has ruled in his favour and said visually impaired people and double amputees must not be denied permission to trek mountains across India.
No one can be denied the thrill and challenge of scaling the highest peaks. This is the sum of a progressive ruling of the Supreme Court, one that has come as a major boost for people with disabilities.
The order comes in response to a petition challenging the government of India’s move to bar visually impaired people and double amputees from climbing mountains. India has many mountains and peaks that attract disabled tourists from across the globe. The petition was filed by Amit KC, a visually impaired trekker, who was denied permission in 2017.
Sajesh Krishnan, Kerala’s first blade runner is an amputee, says the government has no right to interfere in individual choices.
When a person with a disability tries to do something, society has a tendency to pull them back. A disabled person has to constantly hear that they are unable to achieve something. This is what happened in the case of petitioner Amit KC as well. I am glad that the Supreme Court has given him a nod to go ahead with confidence. Every person has the right to do what they want. But again, it is important to take precautions before trekking, whether you are a disabled person or not. – Sajesh Krishnan, Blade runner
It all started off when Amit decided to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak in 2017. He was stopped by authorities on grounds of disability. This was a huge disappointment for Amit who had spent some time gathering funds for the climb. Amit said the government was violating his fundamental rights as a citizen, a view that Vysakh SR, an amputee footballer shares.
“A disabled person can do anything. Last time, I went for trekking with a few of my friends who are not disabled. While climbing up, they got tired and had to sit down to take rest. But I wasn’t. How can someone tell us what we can or cannot do?, he asks.
There are hundreds of disabled people who have beaten their disability to scale heights. Like visually impaired trekker Erik Weihenmaye from the United States, Arunima Sinha from India and Mark Inglis from New Zealand. This order of the court will surely boost the confidence of even more aspiring trekkers.
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