• Hasitha Illa

The things we thought we could..

Without the cooperation of people and the construction of the land, nobody can move at such an ease. Once upon a time, this planet consisted of only rock and rubble. But now, we morphed it with magnificent architecture and refer to it as ‘Earth’. But most importantly, it was built accessible for a man to sight-see, enjoy and travel. I would call this a luxury because not many have the money and most places are not accessible for the disabled.

I may have the money for it, but, how can we reach a destination without a proper path? Being a woman in a wheelchair, I know the importance of having extra accommodation. Think of it this way. A train needs a track, a car needs a road, an airplane needs a runway and a wheelchair needs a ramp! I always say that being disabled was never an impediment to my passion. But honestly, the wheelchair is hindering me from what I love, traveling.

I'm a girl that loves to explore, experience new things and make cherishable memories. I'm a sucker for that rush of adrenaline and in taking risks to try something new. Ever since I was a child, I loved stepping out of the house to interact with nature and its people. Once upon a

time, I was an extrovert who recently transformed into an ambivert. As much as I love the company of others and going out. I learned to live indoors and in my own company because it becomes impractical to constantly be roaming in a wheelchair and when I shifted to India it became impossible with this infrastructure.

My school in the US had extra accomodation for people with disabilities. At the time, I didn’t need those accomodations and never realized its importance. But now that I need them, I'm coming to realize how much our country doesn't have! I love to go on a bike and enjoy the wind blowing in my face. Obviously, I can’t now and I have enjoyed bike rides till the time I could. Now, this is something I can comprise on; not on things like accessibility. When I know that other countries are providing accessibility then how can India be exempted? There are millions of wheelchair users; isn’t that enough to make the world more accessible!

It's high time that India becomes more accessible to accommodate not only the disabled community but senior citizens as well. Most of the places in India are inaccessible, but it is worth discussing about the most accessible place that I’ve ever seen, the metro in Hyderabad. A simple rod or a ramp makes me so happy but the infrastructure of the metro was designed keeping in mind the blind as well as the physically challenged. Every station had a lift and the buttons were lowered to a height that wheelchair users can independently use. What more do we need?

Like the metro, I was planning to make travel vlogs discussing the difficulties we face as we travel. Visit my youtube channel (HERE)

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