Thanks to the short-sightedness of the Common-wealth Games Organising Committee, the disabled population of the city would end up watching their favourite sportsmen only on television sets.
The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People, an NGO working towards the rights of disabled people, conducted a ticket audit and found that lesser number of disabled-friendly seats were available for para-sporting events as compared to mainstream sports.
“Accessible seating was available only for mainstream sports and not for the para-sporting events, which draws more disabled spectators as well as participants,” said Javed Abidi, convenor of the centre. “We also found that accessible seating is available only in the C and D category seats — the cheapest fare category. What if I have the purchasing power to buy a premium ticket?” he asked.
The audit also found that there is only one outlet to buy tickets at Tolstoy Marg, which makes it difficult for a disabled person staying in Saket or Gurgaon to go and buy tickets.
Moreover, the website also doesn’t mention anything about parking and transport for people with disabilities. During the Melbourne Games 2006, the website had a dedicated link on ‘Accessibility’. With one click, a disabled person got the answers to questions including parking, alternative mode of transport, and facilities for other disabilities.
“Shouldn’t the country’s 70 million disabled population en-joy equal rights as those of the physically privileged?” asked Abidi, who has also written to Suresh Kalmadi, the Organising Committee chairman.