The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has issued a notice to the Transport Department over a complaint against a car dealer who reportedly refused to sell a commercial vehicle, which can be modified to fit in a wheelchair, to a specially-abled girl.
The Commission earlier received a representation from the specially-abled girl with regard to purchase of a modified vehicle for persons with disability.
The girl submitted that she is suffering from intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and has restricted mobility. She has stated in the complaint that she wanted to purchase a wheelchair accessible ‘Tata Winger’ in which she will install a manual or hydraulic ramp to improve its accessibility.
However, the car dealer refused to sell her the vehicle for private use, stating that the car is of a large size and the government allows its sale only for commercial purpose.
The DCW said that the girl has requested that approval be given to her to purchase the said vehicle for her personal use. Also, she has sought approval for modifying the vehicle into a disable-friendly car by installing a hydraulic lift and other allied features.
DCW Chief Swati Maliwal along with members of the Commission visited the girl at her residence and interacted with her and her family members. During the interaction, the girl informed that she has already submitted a request in this regard to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, which has been forwarded to the Department of Transport, Delhi government.
Maliwal has recommended to the Transport Department to take up the request of the girl for permission on a priority basis.
The Commission has also asked the Transport Department to provide a timeline for granting her the requisite approvals. It has also asked as to what steps have been taken by the department to streamline and ease the process for other such applicants.
“Even in the 21st century, differently-abled persons have to face several problems in their life. It’s shameful that instead of increasing their accessibility, their mobility is restricted through government policies. I fail to understand why approvals are needed for this and even if they are, why can’t they be granted on a priority basis for people with disabilities? We have issued a notice in this matter. Not only should this girl get approvals soon, the government must take steps to smoothen the process for other differently-abled persons as well,” Maliwal said.
The Commission has sought details of the guidelines issued by the Transport Department to the car sellers in this regard. Also, the Commission has sought details of the steps taken by the department to list such approvals under the flagship scheme of Door Step Delivery of Services of Delhi government, so that persons with disability are not forced to run around for the same.
The Transport Department has been asked to provide an action taken report along with other requisite information to the Commission latest by October 26.