Monday, April 25, 2016

Delhi Traffic Police: 'How can you drive if you are disabled'?

‘How can you drive if you are disabled’
Bindu Shajan Perappadan, THE HINDU, 24 April 2016

Singled out:Disability rights activist Dr. Satendra Singh shows how he operates his specially-modified special arrangement

Unaware volunteers, traffic cops pose odd questions to differently-abled drivers during odd-even:

If you are disabled, how can you drive? The question left me stumped, says disability rights activist and physician Dr. Satendra Singh, who along with several other differently-abled persons have complained about the ignorance of the civil defence volunteers and the Traffic Police when it comes to the rights of the disabled during the on-going odd-even scheme.

“Despite being exempted from the drive for being under the disabled category I continue to face harassment by constables at Delhi-UP borders. I have been stopped and questioned three times at the same place over the past two days. I have been asked, How can I even drive with my disability,” said Dr. Singh.

Recalling his ordeal, Dr. Singh said: “I am a doctor with a disability, who drives modified car with hand control. Earlier this week I was stopped by a couple of civil defence volunteers. I told them that I drive a modified car and that I am a person with disability. I also told them that I am under the exempted category. After a few minutes I drove out only to be stopped again with the same set of questions thrown at me. Currently there is no obvious way to identify a disabled driver in a car. Disabled persons in the vehicle are being stopped.”

The physician said that the Delhi government should consider issuing disability certificates with stickers showing the International Symbol of Access to indicate that the vehicle is being driven by a person with disability.

“This will also help us in the perennial problem we face during parking. Delhi Metros are considered disabled-friendly but they are not since none of the stations have 'reserved parking' for the disabled,” he added.

Meanwhile, others in the city, who faced a similar situation, said that it is embarrassing to face such harassment in the Capital.

Activist and head of department in a government medical college, Dr. Dinesh Puri says he was stopped earlier this week by a traffic cop who was completely unaware of the rules and regulations.

“It is not a joke to work with cops who are not aware of the rules. We don’t need sympathy or contempt. There is a larger issue here which needs to be addressed to ensure that harassment is eliminated,” he said.

R.K. Arora, from a Central government ministry, said there is no reason why a miniscule population should be harassed during the drive.

“Education is easy. We cannot be humiliated because the volunteers and cops are ignorant about the rules.”

Many suggest stickers to identify a car driven by a differently-abled individual

Source: The Hindu, 24 April


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