December 27, 2011
NEWS: Dilemma Facing Disabled Transit Riders in Chennai, India
CHENNAI, INDIA - Feb. 12, 2009 - Wheelchair users in Chennai, India face a dilemma if they want to use public transit operated by Tamil Nadu State. Disabled riders can ride state run MTC buses for free, but are often charged a fee by the bus driver for the wheelchair because it is considered "luggage." While this is reportedly a common practice, complimentary transport of "aids and appliances" used by disabled passengers is a right protected by the Persons With Disabilities Act, 1995, but is seldom enforced. It is also MTC policy for the bus driver to assist the wheelchair user boarding and departing, which the driver in this video does not do. At present, MTC operates only a small number of wheelchair accessible buses. To learn more about disability rights and issues in Tamil Nadu State, go to Akshaya Rehabilitation Trust and Tamilnadu Handicapped Federation Charitable Trust.