Cab aggregators like Uber and Ola have made travel easy for most of us out there, especially, those who live in metropolitan cities. Just book a cab and it reaches your location in a few minutes. However, facility for differently-abled users are hardly touched upon.
An experience of a handicapped woman allegedly being denied cabs has caught our attention on Twitter. Well, it wasn’t just a simple refusal but much worse.
A Twitter user, @skhndh, shared the incident of her friend, Ankita Sharma, the TEDX speaker and wheelchair influencer about how she was “harassed by drivers” while trying to board their cabs. While one driver asked her to call the ambulance, the other one compared her to “a dog”.
The Twitter user tagged both Uber and Ola’s Twitter handles as she raised questions on insensitivity towards differently-abled community and unavailability of an in-app wheelchair access option. She also added an infographic featuring the problem and a few solutions to it.
Check out the tweets here:
Here’s how netizens are reacting to it:
Some Twitter users mentioned Bangalore’s Uber Access, however, pointed out the facility is expensive.
This is not the first time when a differently-abled person faced such discrimination while boarding a cab. According to a Times of India report, in 2019, Arman Ali, a man on wheelchair, was denied cabs by Uber drivers to reach the Chennai airport. The report added that the first driver made him wait for 20 minutes. The second driver refused to keep his wheelchair in the backseat. Both of them had cancelled the rides.
The incident made Ali miss his flight after which he filed a plea in the court.
While Uber has ‘Uber Access’ for differently-abled users in Bangalore, Ola has drove them to polling booths free of cost in Karnataka. However, there is a dire need to convert such initiatives into policy inclusive to all, irrespective of the varied place and time. Or at least introduce a ‘wheelchair tab’ as Ankita suggests.