Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Wheelchair Ramps: A Dire Need

Wheelchairs disabled people Pakistan ramps
Disabled people exist in Pakistan the same way they exist in other countries around the world. Yet, disabled people are more 'visible' in other parts of the world as compared to Pakistan. People who are unfortunately bound by immobility in this country have no option but to stay 'hidden' and home-bound since they are not facilitated to access venues of social participation.

It is sad to see that there are no ramp provisions or facilitations for people in Pakistan who might be benefited by riding wheelchairs. In places like England, they have planned cities with the conscious awareness of laying down footpaths next to roads with ramps linking the two. Even their bus systems are designed such that people with wheelchairs can get on and off a bus quite easily.

On the contrary, in Pakistan, amazingly, there are no ramps for wheelchairs catered by most schools, restaurants, grocery stores, bookshops, mosques, pharmacies, shopping malls, movie theatres, public transport facilities, post offices, and so on, with only a handful of respect-worthy exceptions such as airports, a few universities, and perhaps some elitist socialising clubs. In the absence of ramps, where would the disabled people go?

Every social venue has some stairs to mark its entrance zone, thanks to the threats posed by the unreliable drainage system of the country. The stairs appear to be a challenging climb for a person who yearns to go past the obstacle but is bound by reasons helplessly and unconditionally attributed by nature. However, forced immobility does not imply that one is no more eligible to receive societal blessings.

On the Election Day this year, I visited a polling station in Lahore that had a decent flight of steps. It was awe-inspiring to see some enthusiastic patriotic senior citizens ascend the stairs with immense difficulty but determination to vote. Simultaneously, it was sorrowful to observe that even the Election Commission of Pakistan had not taken any steps to make the polling stations conveniently accessible for persons with disabilities, as a result of which many willing participants were unable to cast their votes.

Everywhere around the world, public and private institutions should undertake the social responsibility to incorporate permanent or makeshift ramp provisions in their facilities that could facilitate people with disabilities to participate in social activities.


  1. without correcting the basics there is no need to do comparison for such facilities. by basics i mean moral values. i don't know its in our nature or culture but we have lost it long ago. i share a small incident. i an MBA class of a well reputed university (LUMS), where every student has good background and comes from educated family. after the class some one left the cell phone. and the students there instead of thinking of returning it they took it with them. now its a small incident and we can easily mock about it. but the point is who is now forcing us to do such action. definitely its not the need??? so just to say we have lost all our values and customs. as for this topic we cant blame anyone for not taking care of the people with disabilities.

  2. Amazing, Sarah. I am really impressed and touched by your thought. This is what I used to think and have experienced since my childhood in Pakistan. People often gave stabbed looks. Gesture, very unwelcoming. However, now, as being an expat, I face no 'challenges' when outside. A friendly atmosphere is met by the disabled. From ramps /elevators to spacious wheelchair parking lots are available here for feasibility of the bound. Hence, visits to places are accessed. Whereas, a person on wheelchair can't even afford to think of going to such places in our homeland. To sum up, I really appreciate your way of thinking towards this aspect. I hope it's an eye-opener for our government and closed minded people worldwide.

  3. Very eloquently voiced! : ) I surely hope that changes occur in your country.