Disability not the end of the road for physically-disabled Vizagite

Ravi said he did not have much experience of driving except driving from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad before the expedition.

Published: 04th September 2022 06:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2022 06:23 AM   |  A+A-

Ravi Varma visited 29 heritage sites in his car; Ravi at Ellora caves | Express

Ravi Varma visited 29 heritage sites in his car; Ravi at Ellora caves | Express

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: This 30-year-old physically-disabled Vizagite has successfully completed a motor car expedition and covered 27,000 km in 118 days. Ravi Varma set off for his journey from RK Beach in Visakhapatnam on April 25.

Ravi covered the entire country, including all States and UTs, and visited 29 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) heritage sites as a part of the expedition.

Speaking to TNIE, Ravi said he wanted to create awareness among people that disability is not the end of the road and that with slight modification, in the lifestyle they can lead a normal life. Aimed at making the country accessible to all, Ravi took the expedition as part of his initiative—RAMP (Regular Access for Mobility People). He said the authorities have done very little for providing accessibility to disabled persons at the heritage sites.

Ravi said he did not have much experience of driving except driving from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad before the expedition. He said his parents Narasimha Raju and Rajeswari and friends encouraged him.

“We travelled for 10 to 12 hours a day,’’ Ravi stated and added that at some places, people told him that he was the first person to visit them. On the journey, they faced several landslides and floods in Assam but he continued the journey.

Initially, he was not sure about such a long journey. He said most of the tourist places in the country are not wheelchair friendly. Only four heritage sites, including Nalanda University and Taj Mahal, are wheelchair-friendly.

He demanded that the governments make all tourist and heritage sites accessible to everyone. Ravi was disappointed in Tirumala as he was not allowed to have darshan citing that online registration was mandatory. His condition and expedition were not taken into consideration.

He said the Central government’s plan of accessible India was still a far cry. “We are also taxpayers and the governments should provide facilities for disabled persons,’’ he said. Ravi was a second-year BTech student at Satyabhama University when he was immobilised following a road accident in Visakhapatnam in 2009. Ravi said the RAMP focuses on creating awareness of occupational therapy and universal wheelchair accessibility.

Preetam, who accompanied Ravi during the expedition, said Ravi drove the car throughout the journey.
A programme will be organised opposite Viswapriya Hall on Beach Road on September 4 to felicitate Ravi for his achievement.



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