As per census 2011, in India out of the 121 Cr population, 2.68 Cr persons are disabled which is 2.21% of the total population. 75lakhs persons are with disability in movement and multiple disabilities. With disability often comes challenges of accessibility – the capability of a device, service, or environment to allow use by all persons, regardless of disability. Transportation is an area of concern with respect to accessibility as, for a large subset of the disability community, many modes of transportation remain either inaccessible, unreliable, or ill-suited.
Limited access to accessible transportation often results in fewer opportunities for employment, housing, healthcare, and education, which ultimately hinder an individual's ability to live independently. Ageing population is another concern we need to address quickly.
We are talking about India being the world’s third-largest passenger-vehicle market by 2021, but in most of these reports we do not talk about making accessible cars in India. Given the disabled and aging population in India, we do not have cars that are manufactured keeping in mind the accessibility aspect. The PwDs have to depend on local customizations for their cars. These customizations are not standard and turn out to be expensive. This is a huge hindrance to the PwDs who want to explore the option of stepping out of their homes and live an independent life.
We should urge our car manufacturers and the government to take actions now and bring about the change in the ecosystem. We should campaign for Accessible Cars in India. Every Indian should contribute to the campaign because as a nation we need to build awareness and solve this problem.