KOCHI: Despite his disability, Rahul J S, who has cerebral palsy, works for the differently-abled community.“I sent several requests to the officials to build ramps for the differently-abled at the IFFK venue. Finally, the request got accepted. Over the past three years, film festival venues have special ramps for the differently-abled,” said Rahul.
According to Rahul, there is a great need to invest more in disabled-friendly infrastructure in Kerala. He feels inaccessibility of infrastructure results in the social exclusion of the disabled.“The state acts indifferent to the disabled. They often forget us while they plan or construct public utilities. I’ve observed that other states are comparatively more disabled- friendly than Kerala,” said Rahul.Rahul had sent a request to Kadakampally Surendran, minister of Cooperation, to make the Kanakakkunu park and premises disabled-friendly.
“Officials have informed that a new disable friendly scheme is on the anvil. Public places like parks should be disabled-friendly. There is no opportunity for growth for the differently-abled. I will fight until my community gets to live in a barrier-free environment,” informed Rahul.Rahul’s contribution at the flood relief camps was exceptional. He had volunteered at three flood-relief centres in the city and was appreciated by the government for his effort.
“I wanted to help people. Disability cannot stop me from being human. I helped them emotionally, physically and mentally. The satisfaction and happiness you get are priceless,” said Rahul.Rahul owns a degree in commerce from Mahatma Gandhi College, Thiruvananthapuram. He currently works for an online media as a sub-editor.Even though he faces difficulties in accessing metros, buses, and other public transportation, he says that nothing can stop him.
“I might be the first differently-abled person to travel from Kerala to Delhi alone. Exploring new places is a craze for me. I can at least walk with the help of crutches. For people who use a wheelchair, travelling in India, especially in Kerala is a nightmare,” he said.
In the future Rahul plans to travel the world.“I am looking for a sponsor to fund the trip. I dream of a disabled-friendly state. The exclusionary environment should change and let the nation grow,” added Rahul.