Come December 14, and over 5,000 Mumbaikars, from seasoned athletes to school children, defence veterans, senior citizens and the differently abled will hit Bandra’s roads, as part of a special marathon, MustRun2014, to push for disabled-friendly infrastructure in the city.

Run
Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Organised by H/West Federation, Must Run 2014, in its fourth year, will have athletes as well as first-timers in categories like full marathon (21 Km), half marathon (10 km), a 5-km dream run to create awareness on oral hygiene and shorter runs like a 2-km run for senior citizens, 2-km run for municipal school children and a 1-km run for people with disabilities.

Neenu Kewlani, an activist who’s been fighting for the rights of the differently abled shares, “Though, we have a law that makes it compulsory to have public spaces accessible to persons with disabilities, we still have not been able to provide an infrastructure that can support the movement of persons with disability. Be it public parks, toilets, buses and trains or government buildings, Mumbai is not accessible to persons with disabilities.”

According to Kewlani, the Census India 2011 reported nearly 3.5 lakh persons with disabilities in Mumbai, but she feels the actual numbers could be higher. “The government to consider the needs of people with disability, before starting projects — including toilets that are to be built under the Swachch India Campaign. We want every facility to be built under the scheme, to have at least one disabled-friendly toilet,” she adds.

Kewlani and her team of experts recently surveyed the Monorail for accessibility for persons with disability, and is now planning to do the same with the Mumbai Metro.