Wanderlust strikes people of all caste, creed, colour and capabilities. Our planet is our common inheritance after all, and everything is meant for everyone. However, a large section of people have had to stifle their thirst for travel – because the infrastructure is designed and controlled from the perspective of those with perfectly functioning senses and limbs. It does not always consider the requirements of the differently-abled persons, who also want to experience the joy of discovering new places, but simply need different means and tools to do so.
Supreme Court of India has recently passed an order asking the central government and all the state counterparts to make public spaces accessible and inclusive to differently abled people. The apex court emphasised that it is about time the perception of people towards the differently abled changed. Treating them as ill and different from others only leads to 'severe isolation'. According to a report by Times of India, the court said,
"Earlier, traditional approaches to disability depicted it as a health and welfare issue, to be addressed through care provided to persons with disabilities, from a charitable point of view. Disabled persons are viewed as abnormal, deserving of pity and care, and not as individuals who are entitled to enjoy the same opportunities to live a full and satisfying life as other members of society. This resulted in marginalising disabled persons and their exclusion both from the mainstream of society and enjoyment of their fundamental rights and freedoms."
The focus is on making educational institutions, classrooms, libraries and washrooms accessible to persons with disability (PwD). India has a disabled population of more than 2.1 crore people and the Supreme Court's order is an essential move towards improving their lives.