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Resource id #3 Freedom on wheels! Rajiv Gandhi Foundation distributes three-wheelers to disabled people - Volume 3 Issue 17: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 3 Issue 17 - September 01, 2005

Freedom on wheels! Rajiv Gandhi Foundation distributes three-wheelers to disabled people

D.N.I.S. News Network – On the 61st birth anniversary of late Rajiv Gandhi, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (R.G.F) distributed 50 motorized three-wheelers to orthopaedically disabled people. These specially designed and engineered three-wheelers turned out be a major draw not only for the recipients but also for other invitees who were taken in the sheer looks of the vehicle.

Picture of motorised three-wheelers presented by RGF

With access being a major hurdle for disabled people, these vehicles promise to make life a lot easier for the recipients and prove to be a major tool in fulfilling their dreams. In a ceremony held at 10 Janpath, United Progressive Alliance (U.P.A.) Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi gave away the three-wheelers on 20 August to disabled individuals, including 29 women, selected from across the country.

"The vehicles are aimed at providing mobility to disabled persons and help integrate them into the mainstream. These three-wheelers otherwise unaffordable, have been designed to facilitate easy use for persons with disability,'' Senior Programme Officer Shahnaz Akhtar was quoted as saying in a news daily.

Bingo, as the vehicle has been named, is an outcome of designing, based on the feedback from individuals who have benefited under the programme. The model has wide screen canopy, ample storage space for crutches, safety protection and hand-operated lever for self-start.

Dr. Sourav, a post-graduate medical student from Bihar who has post polio paralysis, claimed that `Bingo' has given him new hope. "I qualified for post-graduate course at All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur but both the institutes are not disabled friendly and I had to stay back in Bihar for my higher studies. The new vehicle will help in many ways,'' Dr. Sourav told the news daily.

Thirty-five-year-old Vinod Chander businessman and social worker said: "The vehicles will help us to commute independently and go to villages where I work.''

For some, the vehicles would mean dignity while commuting to workplace. S. Sarasu, who works as a technical assistant with the Electronic and Radar Development Establishment, Bangalore said: “I find it very difficult to go to my office. Very often I have to face a lot of humiliation. This vehicle will solve all my problems.” Sarasu also underwent a training session on how to drive her Bingo safely.

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