Most of the physically challenged people suffer from low self esteem as they think of themselves as one's deprived of leading a normal life. Also they get used to getting sympathetic remarks / comments in their day to day life which adds to lowering their self confidence that they too can lead a normal life. Its just that they need to make a few adjustments in handling problems & there's no obstruction which can't be tackled. They just need to be supported positively & motivated morally. They can force the world to look up towards them with a sense of equality.
Whenever they express the desire for driving they are bombarded with remarks like
How will you drive a car with one hand.
How can you even think of this. You can cause accidents
You are meant to be on a wheel chair not on the driver's seat
You can't handle yourself properly how will you handle a car
Most of the physically challenged people give up in the first step itself assuming that there are lot of legal hassles involved & that my life is meant to be lived like this only depending on public transport / friends & well wishers for commuting
Mostly physically challenged people are not aware of their rights, rules & act favouring them & concessions / benefits provided to them. They are not aware of the fact that they can drive vehicles modified / customised as per their needs. Such vehicles are termed as Invalid Carriage in Motor Vehicles Act.
As per the IMT 12 of Vehicle Insurance Act Vehicle specially designed /modified for use of blind, handicapped and mentally challenged persons and suitable endorsement to this effect having been incorporated in the Registration Book by the Registering Authority, a discount of 50% on the Own Damage premium for the vehicle insured is hereby allowed to the insured. What you need is an endorsement in the RC book. The vehicle may also be inspected by the Insurance company prior to allowing discount.
Most of the states allow 100% rebate on road tax. The application will have to be forwarded with a medical certificate issued by the civil surgeon during registration. It may also be required to appear in person during registration. The vehicle dealers have good knowledge about it and will usually do all the tasks required during new vehicle registration.
Many a times concerned authorities turn people away citing reasons which can be attributed to having less knowledge / clarity on rules / acts.
Disability certificate is not regarded as a valid document to apply for driver's license. Concerned CMO officials are not aware of issuing disability certificates specific to driving. RTO officials do not consider normal disability certificate to issue driving license. The person ends up running between these 2 offices. In India people with locomotor disability only (meaning disability of the bones, joints muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs) are allowed to drive vehicles modified according to the disability. People suffering from other kinds of disabilities (lack of vision, deaf & dumb, mental retardation) are not allowed to drive. Many a times authorities are not aware of this & take a stand that any kind of disability simply means you are barred from driving.
People are not aware that vehicles can be customised in such a way that driving related functions performed by lower limbs (legs) can be shifted to fully / partly to upper limbs (arms). Various combinations of modification kits are available to suit the needs of following kinds of locomotor disabilities:
Disability of Left arm
Disability of Right arm
Disability of Left Leg
Disability of Right Leg
Disability of both legs
Driving schools in India do not cater to people suffering from any kind of disability. This discourages people from venturing into buying a vehicle & getting it customised to meet their requirements as they are not confident of firstly being able to drive & secondly being able to get the vehicle registered & get a driving license.
Ability on wheels is an attempt to remove these hurdles & encourage people with disabilities to take a big leap towards greater self reliability, greater mobility, greater self esteem & towards leading a normal life.
Ability on wheels plans to achieve this by:
1. Operating a driving school using modified / customised vehicles
2. Evaluating the needs of people & providing a solution to their mobility requirements
3. Educating people on laws, procedures etc.
4. Providing details of customisation kit manufacturers