Differently abled persons would like to live without depending on others. So they feel thwarted when they face difficulty in getting a driving licence and in getting modified motor vehicles, which fit their need, registered with the Transport Department. There is provision in the Central Motor Vehicle Act for both but many say they have been denied these provisions.
“Mobility is an important issue for the differently abled. Most times they are forced to have someone accompany them wherever they go. With the modified two-wheeler, they could move around on their own, without depending on others. But the Transport Department’s refusal to issue driving licences and register the modified vehicles is a blow to us,” says A Kanniappan, president of the Coimbatore District Differently Abled Welfare Association.
“Today even a normal person cannot manage without a vehicle and for differently abled persons, the modified two-wheelers are essential. Government officials should give them priority and provide driving licences, so that they can get on with their life,” said A Sheike Barithullah, secretary of the association.
“As registering the modified two-wheelers with the Transport Department is a problem, many of us register a two-wheeler and then do the modifications,” said D Mohankumar, trustee of the Caliber Trust for Differently Abled.
“Three months ago differently abled Nandakumar from Venkitapuram met with an accident and was unable to claim insurance as he did not have a driving licence. We are planning to go on a fast with the vehicles in front of the Collectorate to press for our demands,” he said.
Denying all this, Regional Transport Officer S Munusamy (Coimbatore Central) said the department was registering vehicles and issuing licences to those who complied with the government norms.
“As per the government norms, only certain vehicles can be modified, and that too only by the dealers. If the vehicle is in the name of a differently abled person and he/she has a certificate from the medical board, we issue the driving licence,” he said.