"We're going to the movies tonight, want to join?"
My happiness lies in going to live events. But due to a neuromuscular condition, I can't climb stairs--I use a wheelchair for long distances and a cane for support while walking. I'm from New York and live in Mumbai, both chaotic and bustling cities with endless activities. Each time I'm invited out for a concert, play, movie or even dinner, instead of looking forward to a good time, I'm filled with anxiety and fear.
"Will I be able to join? What if there are stairs and I have to be carried up again? Should I just let them go ahead? What if the auditorium has steps? They are booking online so I have to decide."
The pressure builds as I frantically call up venues, box offices, or personally go check out the place for wheelchair-access before booking. These thoughts affect my mental and emotional health. All because of a lack of information.
BookMyShow has setup an online booking system that does not cater to, let alone, acknowledge Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). The BookMyShow App only occasionally shows if a wheelchair facility is available, but the website and app do not display:
1). Whether the venue entrance has ramps, slopes, or stairs
2). Which seats on the seating chart are wheelchair-accessible
According to a Census 2011, 2.21 % of the Indian population have a disability--that's a staggering 26 million people!
Why should so many people be left out? What if we couldn't call ahead or drive by the venue beforehand to see if there are stairs? Why must BookMyShow make it so hard for PwDs to have fun?
And BookMyShow isn't just leaving out PwDs. Your uncle with the bad knees. Your grandma who gets tired climbing stairs. Your cousin post-surgery on crutches. Your sister with her newborn and stroller. Think about all those people you know who have physical limitations and how difficult and awkward it must be for them to socialize.
For those able to afford and interested in going to social spaces, leaving out this population of people is a tremendous profit loss for BookMyShow. Social inclusion is needed and can happen just by displaying basic information online.
By displaying information about whether a venue is wheelchair-accessible or not, PwDs will be encouraged to get out of their homes. PwDs will no longer be left out of family gathering or casual outings. The tension and fear of whether or not a wheelchair-user can get inside without having to be publicly humiliated will be eliminated.
BookMyShow: Do your due diligence and tell us what venues and seats are accessible.
All we want is to #KnowBeforeWeGo. Simple information about ramps, lifts and stairs on a seating chart can make a world of a difference.
Please sign and share this petition if you believe we should #KnowBeforeWeGo!