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Sexuality and Disability India

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A group of people walk on the pavement. Some hold hands, some have canes, and some hold pieces of paper

A campaign to increase safety in public spaces

How safe do non-sighted women feel crossing Mumbai’s crowded streets?
How accessible are Mumbai’s roads for someone on a wheelchair?
How safe and accessible are Mumbai’s public spaces for women with disabilities?

This is what #MyAccess – a campaign to increase safety for women with disabilities – is all about.

#MyAccess rolls out in the form of safety walks in five of Mumbai’s busiest areas from 1 to 5 December, to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. And during the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women.

Dadar. Andheri. Bandra. Sion. Worli. These are the five areas in which we will carry out safety walks – in which disabled and non-disabled women walk together and report back on the safety and accessibility aspect of the area they cover. “90% of Mumbai is inaccessible for wheelchair users,” says Anupam Newgi of the Paraplegic Foundation.

Says gender and disability rights activist Nidhi Goyal of Point of View: “As a woman with a disability, for me walking on a street means it has to be accessible in terms of disability specific markings etc and safe in terms of navigating as a woman. “The woman and the disabled are two parts of me, and it is important to consider both aspects to make the city more friendly for someone like me.”

“Safety walks are an important tool to understand what structural issues make a space safe or unsafe,” says Anu Salelkar of SafeCity. “However most discussions of safety and sexual harassment in public spaces tends to get limited to the experiences of able-bodied women.”

#MyAccess is organized by Point of View and SafeCity as part of 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women. Through this safety sprawl we aim to expand the conversation around safety to include the experiences of women with disabilities in public spaces.

#MyAccess takes place as follows:

Tuesday 1 December: 2 to 5 pm Worli

National Association for Blind
11/12, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Road, Worli Seaface, Mumbai 400 030

Wednesday 2 December: 2.30 to 5.30 pm Andheri

Kumudben Dwarkadas Vora Industrial Home for Blind Women
25 Lalubhai Park, Andheri (W), Mumbai 400 058

Thursday 3 December: 4 to 6 pm Bandra

Able Disable All People Together (ADAPT)
Address: Carter Road , Bandra West, Mumbai 400050

Friday 4 December: 4 to 7 pm Sion

Paraplegic Foundation
T-1, Old Barracks of L.T.M.G. Hospital, Next to V.G.P. Showroom, Sion, Mumbai 400022

Saturday 5 December: 4.30 to 7 pm Dadar

Kamla Mehta Dadar School for the Blind
160, Dadasaheb Phalke Road, Opp. Hindmata Cinema, Dadar (E), Mumbai 400014

Shoot all questions and queries at [email protected].