The Problem Divides Families
Imagine going for a seaside holiday with your friends or family but having to stay back alone when everyone goes to the beach? Or feeling like an incredible burden on your loved one as they labor to push you across the hot sand. Because our country has almost no wheelchair accessible beaches, this is the reality for over 9 million wheelchair users in India today! Why We Care
We as UMOJA believe that barrier‐free tourism is a great way to incentivize businesses to become more accessible. By showing hotels, restaurants, and other public venues that being inclusive is not only ethical but profitable, we are already kickstarting a positive cycle of businesses upgrading their accessibility and seeing the benefits!
With this approach we are working with local businesses to develop Goa, India's most in‐demand accessible travel destination, as a complete barrier‐free holiday venue. We have already convinced a local operator to invest in Goa's first and only wheelchair accessible hire car service, Freedom Cab (linked here ‐ fb.me/FreedomCab) and have written the first ever wheelchair user's guide to Goa (linked here ‐https://goo.gl/6tYXvj), covering over 35 wheelchair accessible hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, points of interest, and more!
Hundreds of wheelchair users have already been in touch with us in hopes of visiting Goa. Despite the many fantastic accessible things to do, the one thing Goa can't offer is a wheelchair accessible beach!
We've taken our #AccessibleGoa mission to the government, and Goa's Honorable Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar has committed to giving adequate accessibility to all such tourists who are in need of it, but nothing has happened!The Solution is Within Reach
The solution we propose is neither new, expensive nor complex: Simple accessible beach mats that can be rolled out on the sand are being used with great success across the globe, enabling wheelchair users and their friends and families to enjoy the beach together!
In fact, a similar online petition in Australia received thousands of signatures, convincing local authorities to trial and roll out mats on Burleigh Beach! If they can do it, SO CAN WE
With your help, we can raise our collective voice and make sure everyone has the right to enjoy the sand and surf together!
Let's call upon The Goa Department of Tourism, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Office of the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Goa, and the Accessible India Campaign to:
- Purchase 2 wheelchair accessible beach mats;
- Install these beach mats in locations in North and South Goa;
- Take responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the beach mats.
Wheelchair accessibility to the beach is just the start. UMOJA's mission is to improve accessibility for all 180 million people with disabilities across India.
Please sign this petition today so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful beaches of Goa.
With hope and thanks,
Posted: 14 November 2016 (Updated: 17 November 2016)