Starting in the U.S., the hashtag #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow is going viral as people around the world are joining an avalanche of responses on Twitter.
While the aforesaid responses focused on examples of discrimination, judgment, unjustified advice, and, above all, poor access, India has taken a positive step forward.
In an effort to amend its rundown reputation for being highly inaccessible, Delhi will now introduce an unprecedented bus for the people with disabilities in India’s capital territory.
Unlike the traditional two-door buses that can be found on the roads of Delhi, this special transit vehicle will comprise of three doors that will allow passengers to easily enter on and get off it.
As part of the pilot phase of the initiative, the Delhi government will be rolling out 25 state-run public buses towards the end of March this year. A total of 1,000 accessible buses are slated to hit the city streets later this year.
This decision to increase the number of buses was held up for a noteworthy eight years. It is worth noting that DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) has 5,443 public buses, while there's a requirement for 11,000 public buses.
Out of the limited number of public buses on the streets, only 3,750 can be deemed accessible. They are basically low-floor vehicles operated on compressed natural gas (CNG).
Taking the current condition of the inaccessible infrastructure in Delhi into consideration, this first of its kind decision was finally taken.
"The new variant of buses will have three doors – one in the front, one in the middle and another in the rear," Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot told Hindustan Times.
Aside from that, normal cluster buses equipped with hydraulic lifts were also approved on Wednesday. Passengers using wheelchairs will be able to effortlessly get into or exit these buses, Mr. Gahlot added.
The meeting that took place on Monday confirmed two prototypes of accessible standard-floor buses. They had to postpone the two-year plan to introduce 1,000 standard-floor buses citing technical issues.
While buses with low-floors make the boarding process a lot easier for people who use wheelchairs and elderly citizens, buses with standard-floor levels prove to be highly inaccessible, given that they have standard-floor levels.
Much to the delight of those having a hard time getting into the regular buses, a much-needed alternative solution is just around the corner in the form of buses with hydraulic lifts.
An official told Hindustan Times that it took approximately one minute to put the wheelchair-using passenger into the bus with the hydraulic life on a standard-floor bus.
These special buses will provide additional space for passengers to park their wheelchairs, the official confirmed.
The transport department is currently testing these buses. As far as the design is concerned, these buses will feature hydraulic lifts that can hold up to a whopping 300kgs of weight.
Moreover, all these buses will come with panic buttons, CCTV cameras, and GPS trackers.
Do you think this is the positive beginning that we needed for a truly accessible India? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/wheelchair-disabled-pram-legs-help-1629490/