In Photos: This Unique Metro Ride Was A Celebration Of Friendship Beyond Labels

Posted on August 18, 2016 in Disability Rights, PhotoNama

By YKA Staff:

“When we talk of accessibility, it’s often in reference to infrastructure, workplace inclusion or something equally functional. But rarely do we talk about it in the context of recreation. Yes, people with disabilities need that, too and in equal measure,” observed Rahul, during a unique ride on Gurgaon’s rapid metro, on the occasion of International Friendship Day. A law intern with a prominent law firm in Delhi, Rahul has a visual impairment, and rarely uses the metro services. Such is the case with many others with disabilities.

To help break the stigma around this, Planet Abled an accessible tour company, hosted a unique event that combined entertainment and travel, to help encourage people with disabilities to get out more, and have a good time, while they’re at it. An entire coach was exclusively booked for the duration of one hour (4 full circuits), during which a motley crew of participants and volunteers, had a blast on a moving train. There was music, stand-up comedy and inspiring talks. Here are the highlights in pictures!

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An entire bogey was booked for the event, which saw both, participants with disabilities and volunteers who wanted to help out and have a good time. This equation has helped forge some strong friendships along the way.

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(Left to right) Shankar (accessibility tester from HCl technologies ), Rahul (law student from Nagpur here in Delhi for internship and a regular at Planet Abled events), Pranav (cyber security expert and hobbyist photographer and app & software developer) and Raunak, (impaired visually) laughing hysterically at the jokes cracked by standup comedian Prakhar Pramod.

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Michelle, a research scholar from New York City, is partially deaf and has written a book on the lives of deaf in south India. Here she is signing while conversing with a fellow deaf traveller.

rapid metro accessiblity ride 4aSatish Arora (center), a retired teacher, enjoys the youthful energy of the express.

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Mudit Sharma, a professional singer and performer, belts out “Dooba Dooba Rehta Hun”. Behind him, we see wheelchair wanderer Jolly Mohan, a professional working with Bank of America, who came along with her husband Shubham, who has a visual impairment.

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Prakhar Pramod, a Delhi-based stand-up comedian generated a lot of laughs with his provocative take on everyday incidents.

rapid metro accessibility rideChandra Rao, a retired CA and travel enthusiast, sharing her thoughts.

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(Left to right): Jolly Mohan, Rahul Rawal, an operations manager at Aon Hewitt and Anirban, an Assistant Manager at Union Bank, living with cerebral palsy, who shared his travel experiences before and after attending Planet Abled’s tours.

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Ankur Singla, a deaf artist, shares how he was happy to meet new people on the occasion of Friendship Day. Next to him, is the father of autistic child Arnav, capturing the wonderful moments his child is experiencing.

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Everyone getting to know each other and sharing their experiences of the day after the Planet Abled entertainment express concluded.

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Harshita, the only hearing and speaking person in her family, talks about her experiences of growing up with deaf parents and siblings.

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Neha Arora, Founder of Planet Abled, encouraging people to get out more and conquer the world. She also shares, “Some of the volunteers have never met a person with a disability before, but along the way some great friendships have been forged, which have also helped many get over certain pre-conceived notions around disability.” You can also read about what inspired Neha to start her organisation here.

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Images courtesy Rajesh P Menon

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