On January 30, differently-abled people will take a first-of-its-kind heritage walk in Delhi and will see the historical beauty of the capital. The tour is being organised by Planet Abled — a travel company that promotes travel and leisure activities for the differently-abled. Plant Abled is the brainchild of Neha Arora, 31. Arora’s father was visually impaired and her mother was polio-affected. She always tired her best to make the travel options easy for her parents.
It was this arduous journey that gave the shape to Planet Abled. Last year in November, she quit her high salary job with MNC to focus full time on her initiative.
Neha said that her parents are fond of travelling. They would tell her and her sister to go enjoy as they didn’t want to create trouble for them. But Neha and her sister were always worried and reluctant to travel without them.
According to her, differently-abled person have dreams and desires, but they surrender and compromise on their wishes.
Planet Abled, according to Neha, would work towards utilising the active senses a person possesses. She explains that a blind person cannot enjoy the beauty of sunset or sunrise. For them something tangible would be far more interesting and beautiful. In the same way, she describes that there is no fun in organising a musical event for a hearing impaired persons unless it includes a dance performance.
Neha Arora, 31 brainchild behind the Plant Abled . facebook
The heritage walk on January 30 will be first event for Planet Abled. It will be kicked off in Qutb Minar and proceed towards Quli Khan’s tomb in Mehrauli Archaeological Park. The ruins of Jamali Kamali tombs, Metcalfe’s canopy, Rajon ki Baoli and Balban’s ruins will be covered along the way. Heritage enthusiast Vikramjit Singh Rooprai, who is also part of the event, said that the team got a lot of requests for participations. The group however has limited the number of participants to 15 as a smaller group will be easy to manage. Many participants are coming from Kanpur, Lucknow and Mumbai.
He said that this will be the first outing for them.
Rooprai said they have chosen Qutb Minar as a venue, as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has a lot of facilities. He has been conducting dry runs and identified accessible paths for the wheelchair-bound people. In this event each participant will be assisted by a volunteer and other people during the six-hour tour, which includes lunch.
They have also arranged wheelchairs and sign-language experts which will make things easy for the participants.
The participants are excited about the event. For Rama Krishna, who is from Bengaluru, the tour is a boon. “I am excited. I have attended many concerts in Bengaluru, but this is my first visit to a monument,” he said. Appreciating the initiative, Nipun Malhotra, disability rights activist who has been living in Delhi from 1997 said that he had never seen any historical monuments in the city. He himself is participating in the walk, and seems happy and excited to be become the part of this event.
According to the census report of 2011, the number of differently- abled people constitutes 2.21 per cent of Indian population. But many of the activists believe that the numbers is not correct as the figures will be much higher than the government figures. Malhotra said the efforts of Planet Abled have rightly selected them “as a huge market. But even otherwise, the initiative is great because it will help the differently abled to socialise.” Rooprai is also planning to organize similar walks at Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Safdarjung Tomb.
In future, Planet Abled is planning a food walk in Delhi, followed by pottery and photography workshops.