Published: 16th December 2018
#RampMyCity: A Bengaluru initiative to make restaurants more accessible to differently-abled
In an effort to bridge the gap between high-end restaurants that claim to be accessible and the differently-abled community that cannot access it, a Christmas Lunch is being organised
A pre-Christmas lunch party is being organised for specially-abled children who are in the age-group of 10-12 years. The event is organised by Byg Brewski, Hennur, on and #RampMyCity for children from The Association of People With Disabilities (APD) on Tuesday.
Mansoor who works as a fund-raiser for APD, is a differently-abled person, who did his schooling from the association. Being from the community, he says he understood the importance of socialisation aspect and also the barriers and challenges PWDs face. He was one of those who took part in the wheelchair cricket event that was held earlier in the city. "There is an an attitudal discomfort of PWD themselves and so is there is societal discomfort that is shown towards these people. The event I took part in recently was very empowering. Such events give opportunities to us to sociaalise. Hosting such an event for children who would othersie not even be able to afford is a way in which we are trying to bridge the gap. With the #RampMyCity campaign, this is also a way in which we can ensure that a follow up is being done to ensure that the staff can cater to differently-abled children."
Forty to 42 of these children who will be attending the event have mobility issues, or are hearing/speech-impaired. Games have been desinged in a way that will cater to each one of them. The staff at Byg Brewski has also arranged special dances for them, which will be followed by lunch. Apart from these, there will also be a story-telling session by Prateek Khandelwal, founder of #RampMyCity campaign. "These stories will be simple in nature. The main message that will be given out to them is that - whoever they are, they are special. They must always believe in themselves and their abilities."
#RampMyCity campaign has been instrumental in making 16 restaurants accessible in the city. This was one of the restaurants that was ramped, as part of the #RampMyCity campaign. Talking about extending this initiative to specially-abled children, he says, "Most of these children don't have meals outside, as their parents are not comfortable with their kids going out. So they end up going to school alone. I discussed the idea of hosting the event with Pravesh Pandey, the founder of Byg Brewski, as they have a big space and an accessible washroom."
Apart from making 16 restaurants accessible, talks and training sessions have been provided to the staff at the eateries. Talking about his 15-20 minute talks and the end-to-end trainings, Khandelwal says, "From picking them up from their vehicles at the entrance, to escorting them to their tables, washrooms and finally back to their cars, I've been training the staff on how to provide the right service to these customers."
Apart from teaching the staff on how they can 'break the barrier', he also advices the differently-abled customers, "On your part, before coming to the restaurant, give them a call and let them know when you'll be making a visit, so they can make the needed arrangements."
Talking further on the need to break the mental barriers we have towards PWDs, he says, "People alsways tend to blame others. It's not like people are not there to help. If you train them the right way, it's possible for them to make it accessible for you. It is important to involve them, in order for them to involve you. By breaking the mental barrier from both sides can we truly be inclusive."