Traveling for people with disabilities is no picnic. Whether one is in a wheelchair, elderly or incapacitated for some reason, it is difficult to navigate a world that is not built with the needs of people with special needs in mind. There are many stigmas and myths attached to wheelchairs that people who use them drag around everywhere they go. Fortunately, thanks to growing awareness, tourism is becoming considerate and wheelchair friendly! In 2016, the Archaeological Survey of India identified about 50 high-traffic sites where measures to make them accessible to people with disabilities have been taken. Here are a few :
Kerala: Kochi Fort was the very first tourist spot in India to be declared disabled friendly in 2016. Kerala Tourism has taken a step in the right direction with the introduction of specially designed handrails and non-slip tiles to help disabled people and the elderly. to move comfortably. Self-contained ramps, special toilets in hotels and even special houseboats were later introduced by Kerala Tourism.
GB: Candolim Beach in Goa was the first wheelchair accessible beach in India! Not only that, but Candolim beach also hosted a wheelchair accessible beach festival which included activities like water beach chair, wheelchair cricket, kite flying, beach bowling, and more. Goa is equipped with a wheelchair user guide which has 35 hotels, popular tourist places and restaurants.
Delhi: Delhi’s landmarks including the Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and others are well equipped with ramps. Places like the Indian Air Force Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art as well as outdoor spaces like Dilli Haat also have ramps everywhere.
Odisha: Tourist sites like temples usually remain crowded, making it very difficult for wheelchair users to visit. Elderly people and devotees with different abilities can do parikrama of Odisha’s Jagannath Temple in wheelchairs. Odisha’s golden beach proudly holds a blue flag for cleanliness and for being disabled-friendly.
Agra: It is no secret that Agra is one of the most important tourist destinations in India. And to make it accessible to the disabled, the authorities have installed ramps at the Taj Mahal. Places like Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri provide wheelchairs and golf carts for people who need them, the latter also being equipped with Braille signs.