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Sexuality and Disability India

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Construction and missing ramps: Barriers to #MyAccess

The fourth day was the 4th of December, where we had 18 participants from Paraplegic Foundation in Sion (east) and 25 participants from Sophia College. We began our orientation after a short cultural event, attended by Mrs. Earth, Priyanka Khurana Goyal. The two routes chosen were from Sion Hospital towards Sion Circle and nearby lanes, and under the Sion Flyover and nearby lanes. Again, like the previous day, accessibility in terms of wheelchair accessibility was examined.

Besides uneven roads and inaccessible footpaths, road crossing was seen as a major issue given the short amount of time given to do it. Safety issues such as poor lighting and crowds were also noted. In later discussions, more issues of accessibility were brought up such as public and semi private transport (taxis), and the need to make city spaces, or any public spaces more accessible.

Route 1:

Across the road from under Sion flyover
21 Participants
Here once again the focus was on how wheelchair accessible the route was. This route, there were a few accessible footpaths but they were uneven. Mostly the participants were forced to use the road. The participants described the road as uneven, full of dirt and potholes. Since the walk took place as the sun was setting, they could not see the depressions in the road due to there not being enough lights. Stray animals become a dangerous obstacle. Parked cars in narrow roads made it difficult to travel, especially with oncoming traffic. The crossing of the main road, under the Sion flyover was very stressful and not enough time was given for pedestrians, especially those on wheelchairs, to cross.

Route 2:

Towards Sion circle
21 Participants
Here again the narrow footpaths were mostly not wheelchair accessible, leaving only the option of travelling on the main road with traffic. Added to that road was uneven, causing problems for wheelchair users. The obstacles on the route included garbage, hawkers and road repair work. Traffic was also be seen as an obstacle by some, as they were not accommodating to the needs of wheelchair users. The lights on the main road were adequate, however were not enough in the inside roads