As the `raven quoth' in Edgar Allen Poe's play, it is hightime that all PWD take a consolidated stand to NEVER attend an event where some organisation (typically a government agency) offers to `honour' one, and then goes on to organise the event in an auditorium which is replete with an abundant supply of steps, with not even an apology of a ramp - in spite of being fully aware that the recipient of this `award' is confined to a wheelchair - and turn this `honor' into a thoroughly dishonourable event where the honouree is asked to either (i) leave the wheel-chair outside and walk `only 20 steps' (sic), or (ii) if the person just cannot walk, carried up like a sack of potatoes. As readers of my blog or newspaper articles know, I have, by now, become a master at disbelieving promises to take good care of you and make my numerous demands clear to my potential host, and then making as public a stink as possible, if my demands have not been met in spite of promising me that they will.
The latest victim of this kind of horrific insensitivity is Abha Khetarpal, who has been an e-friend for long. Here is the background. Abha is in a wheelchair and was one of four women featured in a documentary movie `Accsex' that boldly tackled the theme of sexuality and people with disabilities. This movie was going to be honoured at the National Film Award Ceremony at Vigyan Bhawan by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Abha had been excited for some days about being invited to this event, only to be treated to the usual insensitivity of the officials when such a dignitary is going to be present. These auditoria are crammed full of chairs and the only way a wheel-chair can be accommodated in such a place is in an aisle or right up front in front of the first row - and surely national security considerations could not permit such a potential hazard.
The only thing that will work is for ALL of us to say: if you want us at an event, then hold it where we can come; if you can't do that, you can shove your award where the sun don't shine'.