With an awareness ride from Delhi to Himachal, this group of wheelchair users prove nothing is impossible!
A group of wheelchair user’s who are part of the ‘Be Able’ group took an 800 kms awareness ride from Delhi to Himachal Pradesh and back. Though the ride happened last month, members of the group are thrilled when they talk about the exciting times.
Doctors often suggest that people with spinal cord injuries shouldn’t travel for more than 50 kms. But for Delhi-based Sooraj PA who now has a spinal injury after an accident, the recent ride from Delhi to Himachal Pradesh and back which covered more than 800 kms was once in a lifetime experience. Wheelchair users from the group called ‘Be Able’ travelled between Delhi and Himachal Pradesh for a cause. They wanted to spread awareness about Coronavirus and the need to stay safe, show their gratitude to army veterans who became amputated in wars and also pass the message that wheelchair users can travel and do everything else like any other person.
An interesting ride
“It was one of the best experiences of our lives”, says Gulfam Ahmed, a wheelchair dancer, model, para sportsperson and motivational speaker.
Gulfam is one of the founders of ‘Be Able’. Due to a polio attack in childhood, Gulfam is disabled in both legs. The team has been holding such rides for the past eight years and all of them were done for some social cause. As Gulfam puts it, “It is high-time society understands that we can come outdoors and do things”.
The 14-members team set out in nine three-wheeler scooters and three cars in which one was customised for disabled person to drive. Kargil war veteran Sanjay headed the team. Sooraj had his wife accompany him. “Both of us were in my scooter. She came to support me. It was one of the most memorable rides of my life”, recollects Sooraj.
The drive that began on 10 October ended after five days in Delhi. “Our stay at Himachal Pradesh was at a place called Solan. It was a tough terrain. The resort that we stayed was up at Solan and we rode there at night. In the morning when we came back is when we actually saw how steep the roads were. I had lost my scooter balance more than thrice”, says an excited Sooraj.
Riding for right causes
All members enjoyed spending time with each other with laughter and happiness. For most of them who were inside their homes for past months due to lockdown, this long ride was a much needed one.
“Many people with disabilities even today think that they must confine themselves to their homes. They are uncomfortable to get out due to inaccessibility issues too. Disabled people can enjoy everything. We must find ability in disability”, says Gulfam.
The team is gearing up for more similar rides in years to come.
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