An Appeal to the International Community

Pushpakumar hails from Kerala, South India. Both his legs were paralysed due to polio attack at the age of four years. Though hard to combat, the plethora of problems were brushed aside by this brave man and succeeded in securing a job of an accountant after obtaining a degree in commerce. Being a person left paralysed below waist, the main concern before him was the mobility to reach his office, which is six kilometers away. He then bought a gear free scooter in 1995 and attached side wheels for balancing. He managed to drive the vehicle comfortably and obtained a license to drive ‘Invalid Carriage’. Invalid Carriage is a special kind of registration given to the vehicles adapted for use of the physically challenged persons. These types of vehicles are not manufactured or sold elsewhere in India. As such, his modified scooter was given registration as ‘Invalid Carriage’ in 1995.

Time rolled on………….

Pushpakumar was happy. The long twelve years of safe and successful driving met the needs of mobility. He never thought of his disability. In 1999 he was married and now he has a son aged eight years. He traveled on his vehicle with family wherever he wished.

After twelve years riding, the vehicle started giving troubles such as break down and frequent repairing. As the maintenance of his old vehicle has become a headache, he bought a new gear free scooter in June 2007 and attached side wheels similar that of his old one.

This is the time when all the problems are started. The motor vehicle registering authority has refused to approve the modifications Pushpakumar carried out on his scooter. According to the authority, any modifications on any vehicle are illegal and warranting forfeiture of the modified vehicle.

It was a shock to Pushpakumar. He immediately lodged complaints to the Chief Minister requesting to intervene and restore justice to him. Leading news papers and television channels have brought this matter to the public. The Chief Minister informed Pushpakumar that his request is forwarded to the Principal Secretary (Transport) for urgent necessary action. The Principal Secretary (Transport) when contacted later said that such an appeal was not received in his office…….!). Pushpakumar again approached the registering authority. The ridiculous transport officer C G Michael (Office Phone: +91478 2816248) has registered the modified scooter as an ordinary scooter (Motor Cycle without Gear). This wrong registration has made more troubles to Pushpakumar. He cannot drive this vehicle, as he does not have a license to drive an ordinary scooter.

Unrelenting Pushpakumar has made serious attempts to solve the problem and to regain his mobility. After all he wanted to lead a legitimate life in his country.

From Michael (Local Transport Officer) to Manmohan Singh (The Prime Minister of India) – moving in the same way…….!

Here is the list of his fervent appeals for mobility and the bureaucratic replies.

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO VIEW THE DOCUMENTS IN ORIGINAL.

Appeal to the Chief Minister of Kerala and its reply
Appeal to the Principal Secretary (Transport)
Reply from the Principal Secretary (Transport)
Reply from the Transport Commissioner (Transport)
Appeal to Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Reply from Prime Minister’s Office
Reply from Department of Transport, New Delhi

Still there are several attempts of Pushpakumar for getting his vehicle approved by the transport department.  He obtained a lot of documents from the government authorities regarding this issue and finally realised that the issue is a prolonged one and the government authorities are not interested to settle the matter.


The science and technology has advanced enough to provide mobility to the physically challenged persons. But the bureaucrats of the Government of India are trying to pin down the disabled and helpless people in India with their powerful weapon of red tapism. The Government of India is falsely portraying its concern over the disabled to boost their image at international levels. It has signed the landmark UN treaty intended to bring the disabled to the mainstream. Two other instruments like People with Disabilities (Equal Rights Protection) Act and Rehabilitation Council of India Act were also promulgated in India and are said to be in existence!

Considering the year’s long stalemate, Pushpakumar is now exploring the availability of a suitable vehicle for his legitimate mobility from other countries. A vehicle that can be driven alone by hands will fulfill his needs. And it should be available at an affordable cost. It should have at least two seating capacity

The International Community is therefore requested to kindly intimate us about the availability of a mobility scooter for the physically challenged elsewhere in the WORLD.  

We can be contacted at:  fight4living@gmail.com

Thank you for the interest you have shown to go through this scribe.

-the witness





Pushpakumar will be remembered as an unrelenting opponent to the disability discrimination prevailing in India.

5 comments:

Ninu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ninu said...

I,Ninu S is a physically handicapped person.I too find hard adjusting with the rules of India.I was born and bought up in Qatar.There they respected all the people equally especially "Differently Abled" people.But i dont understand why cant people be same in India..Thanfully with God's blessing i can drive a normal car..But when i went for ma lisence i had to face many challenges and humilitation from RT officers..I was shocked.First time in ma life such a thing had happened.

Why does people in India cant respect "Differently Abled" when all other countries respect Us without any creed,caste or color??

I resquest to make the authority to make our life secure and easy and make us proud to be Indian...

SC Vashishth said...

Hi Pushpakumar!

Is there any development in your matter. Has the union ministry for transport evolved some mechanism for easy registration of the adapted vehicles of the Citizens with Disabilities?

Have you taken up this matter in the court of law as planned?

Let me know the update, if any.
warm regards

KODAKKAL SHIVAPRASAD said...

Dear Pushpa Kumar,

Sad for the harassment you have faced for different angels with society, please be brave, be bold and fight against this discriminations, I will be with you. Hope that take interest in membership with my disability friendly web portal for discussions about disability issues and make this web portal vibrant and be motivated one in disability issues.

with regards,
http://www.kodakkalraja.community.officelive.com

Krishna said...

The hopeless fight one has to make and the callous disregard of officials in such serious issues has been brought out well in the article. The facts have been presented in a very systematic and orderly manner. Thanks for putting up a record of such issue.

On a page which provided scanned versions of Govt. proceedings one of the documents, that of an order from Ministry of Shipping and Surface Transport, was not clear. I could locate a better document of that order and am providing the link here. If correct kindly update:

http://www.ccdisabilities.nic.in/content/en/docs/NotificationAlterationOfTwoWheelers.pdf