Virali Modi, a disability rights activist, and India’s first wheelchair-using model, took to Xon Wednesday to share her disappointing experience at a registrar’s office in Mumbai. The activist revealed that she went to get married at the Registrar’s Office in Khar, Mumbai on October 16 but the office was on the second floor with no access for disabled people. Ultimately, she had to be carried up two flights of stairs for the process. More so, the stairs were steep and railing was loose and rusty and no one offered any help to her.
Her tweet read, ”PLEASE RT! I am disabled and I got married at the Registrar’s Office in Khar Mumbai on 16/10/23. The office was on the 2nd floor WITHOUT a lift. They wouldn’t come downstairs for the signatures and I had to be carried up two flights of stairs to get married.”
See the tweet here:
I am disabled and I got married at the Registrars Office at Khar Mumbai on 16/10/23. The office was on the 2nd floor WITHOUT a lift. They wouldn’t come downstairs for the signatures and I had to be carried up two flights of stairs to get married. pic.twitter.com/ZNCQF3gJRY
— Virali Modi (@Virali01) October 18, 2023
She went on to reveal that her agent who was handling her marriage registration paperwork was aware of her disability.
Expressing her frustration further, she wrote, ”How is this fair? What happened to the Accessible India campaign? Just because I’m a wheelchair user, do I not have the right to get married to someone I love? What if someone had slipped and what if I had fallen on my wedding day? Who is responsible?”
She said that she’s disheartened that her country’s government as well as citizens are unable to accommodate her disability. ”My faith in humanity has been destroyed by this ordeal. I am not a piece of luggage that needs to be carried up two floors. I am a human being and my rights matter,” she added.
Ms Modi further said that her country must accommodate her needs and those of other disabled citizens. ”This is extremely unfair, unprecedented, and unexpected. My rights matter! This was a government building and the people in charge of running this country should lead from the front,” she concluded.
Her viral tweet caught the attention of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who said that he would personally take cognizance and corrective and appropriate action. ”First of all many congratulations on the new beginnings and I wish you both a very happy and beautiful married life! Also, I really am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. I have personally taken cognisance and will take corrective and appropriate action,” he wrote.
First of all many congratulations on the new beginnings and wishing you both a very happy and a beautiful married life !
Also I really am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.
I have personally taken cognisance and will take corrective and appropriate action. @Virali01
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) October 18, 2023
Several people on the internet also empathised with her and highlighted the importance of inclusive facilities and services for disabled people. One user wrote, ”Congratulations on your wedding! It is extremely appalling and sad to hear about the ordeal that you had to go through on your special day. I am determined to personally look into this to ensure that no one else has to face the same in future.”
Another said, ”Our public infrastructure overall needs to be more disabled friendly.”
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also wrote, ” This is absolutely shameful by the Registrar’s office. Will definitely take this up.”
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