Let’s Turn 70, Shall We?
Are we, the disabled, truly independent?
The reason I pose this question is not to condescend or make all our efforts of day to day survival seem trivial, because for a majority that in itself means some level of independence.
As a nation, for 70 days, over 70 years, we’ve proudly celebrated our independence. From achieving one’s basic rights, to becoming self-sufficient, to becoming an industrious powerhouse and finally evolving into one of the world’s leaders. As citizens, we have made a mark globally, led businesses, entertained across mediums and shared our cultural traits with the world.
Yet a third of us have not experienced true independence. Confined to our homes, shackled by disability, our only foray into this world is either via the window of media or dependence on other able-bodied individuals.
How would one even begin to define freedom for someone who cannot even sit up in bed or make it to the bathroom on their own? For that matter, what could one do to even offer such individuals a glimmer of independence in the true sense of the word? Is it just about awareness, inclusivity, overcoming perceptions…? Or is it just creating the means and letting the individual fend for his or her self?
Freedom in its truest sense is about choice, unobstructed, unassisted and most importantly earned. So, if a disabled person truly craves the experience of freedom, in any aspect of life, from education, recreation to travel, it begins with an attitude of going for it and earning that freedom when the opportunities present themselves.
At Enable Travel our core idea has always been about freedom to go out. Across disabilities, and barriers to those disabilities we’ve researched and tested, traveled and toiled, fought perceptions and demanded inclusivity. We didn’t do it for any particular individual or group but did it for ourselves.
Truly accessible travel was not the choice offered. Let me tell you there’s no such thing and anyone who claims to offer you otherwise is either thinking only in the short-term or has no clue about the gargantuan effort it takes to even get close to ensuring accessibility in all aspects of travel.
The choice Enable Travel offers, is to go out. Simple.
70 trips to freedom is this very choice, but cutting across barriers of cost, duration, geography and infrastructure.
Throughout this entire year Enable Travel gives you 70 different options across India to finally venture out.
Day trips, excursions, long holidays, adventure trips, religious experiences, swim, hike, raft or get tanned, you get to choose. You get to be free.
Many of you have your freedom stories. When, how, why, did you finally decide to venture out, despite your disability? As experts, we’ve shared ours and now it’s time to start working on yours by earning this opportunity to say to yourself, the least I can do is just leave my home and take it from there.
70 trips to freedom is also a call to action for all you able-bodied folks out there!
People with friends or acquaintances who are disabled or let old age be a deterrent. Every time you celebrate your freedom or leave your home on your own you’ve done it without realising what it means to us. Here’s your chance to do something about it. Every family member who holds back on leaving the home with a disabled relative is not letting that individual be free. Every person who knows a disabled individual and has never questioned or realised the lack in presence of the disabled in their daily lives despite knowing accessible options now exist, is taking away that gained freedom from the disabled person.
We realise that perceptions, taboos, budgets, barriers are major challenges, but then as a nation on whom can a third of its citizens trust the most on but those of you who have the privileged luxury of just being able to leave your home whenever you wish?
So, then I ask you, the able-bodied and my tribe of disabled citizens…are you truly independent?
Well, with 70 trips to freedom and a year ahead of us to earn that freedom let us find out, shall we?
Take the first step towards freedom with Enable Travel. And we promise, we’ll try make it as comfortable and fun as possible. Check out our tours here.70 Trips To Freedom