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Wheelchair using siblings denied entry to a Delhi cinema hall

D.N.I.S. News Network – In a case reflecting on how lack of awareness and apathy can become a barrier for persons with disabilities, just like any infrastructural or physical barrier, two sisters were denied entry inside a popular cinema multiplex in the National Capital.

According the media reports, the siblings, who are regular at the hall, were denied permission on the ground that they would be blocking the passage.

Ishu Sharma, who runs a computer institute, and her sister Monica, who owns a fashion institute, reached the auditorium along with their mother, aunt and an escort. They had booked their tickets in advance and even told the booking clerk that as they were wheelchair users they would like to have last row seats. But while the booking took place as demanded, the two muscular dystrophy patients were in for a rude shock when they reached the cinema hall.

As they asked the ticket checker to park their wheelchairs in a corner-- as had been the practice all along-- he refused and demanded that they leave the wheelchairs and sit in their seats., which the sisters could not do and were asked to leave the hall.

When the sisters insisted that the manager be called as they were regulars to the hall and had seen “Salaam Namaste” there only last week, the cinema manager, Rohit Sethi was called in. Sethi cited a directive from D.C.P. (Licensing), Delhi Police, that the passages should be kept clear and so he had to ask the sisters to shift to their seats. Ishu Sharma said neither Sethi and nor the Duty Manager, Mukesh Sharma, was willing to listen to them and told them that their “past visits were a mistake which need to be now rectified”.

Following this incident, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People sent a legal notice to the PVR managment demanding an explanation on the matter within a weeks time.