People who use a wheelchair face numerous problems at marriage halls, bus stops and even on footpaths.
Most cinema halls do not have ramps and public transport buses too have no facilities for the disabled.
Against this backdrop, the Mumbai high court has directed the Maharashtra government to take immediate steps to provide proper and safe access to roads, transports, buildings and public places to differently-abled people.
While Pune boasts of being smart and people-friendly, the infrastructure is far from comfortable for those with disabilities, and this can limit their ability to move around freely and safely. With disability insurance providers estimating that more people are living and working with disabilities than ever before, it is crucial that public places are adapted to accommodate wheelchairs and other forms of mobility equipment.
Pune, a city supposedly well on it’s way to becoming a Smart city is lacking in this important pre-requisite.
Today, we at Pune365 decided to check the availability of basic infrastructure in the city for the disabled and differently abled citizens of our city.
We were relieved to find a few good samaritans and establishments ready to extend a helping hand…
“I want to be independent and for that all we need is a positive inclusive outlook, along with some window of opportunity” says, Vinayak Shetty, Student.
Many people in the city still feel that we should stay indoors or at best end up begging on the streets. We don’t want to do either, we want a normal life and all we are demanding is the basic accessibility to move safely, he adds.
Akshay Castelino, a Restaurant Manager says, “the restaurant is a perfect combination of hospitality and food. Apart from this, but, that wasn’t enough for the restaurant, so they decided to take a step more.” As well as sourcing their usual equipment from places like www.nellaonline.com, they also decided to create new accessibility features using disability-friendly equipment. Now, there is another way for disabled individuals to feel like part of the wider community.
“This restaurant with a separate pathway for people with disabilities is now one place you must try.
The work on the special handicapped friendly washroom is under progress and then we will be all set to welcome people on their chairs,”he adds.
“We have differently abled staff working with us! So we know the importance and understand their needs, says Pradip Patil, Supermarket Manager.
“The store is located on the ground floor, so we do not have a ramp, however there is one wheelchair.
Consumers can stroll around the super market and buy their own groceries. If a person is visiting the supermarket alone, one of the staff member is always around to accompany the customer. He adds.
Another restaurant owner Devdas Nayak says, “In the restaurant we generally do not meet disabled people, but if we come across any, I personally ask the waiter to lift their chair to the level of the restaurant.”
“If the government advises to provide infrastructure to disabled people. I would certainly go ahead and renovate the restaurant and would be happy to serve everyone” he adds.
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