Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala State Chalachitra Academy plans to recommend suitable infrastructure changes for KSFDC theatres, so that International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) becomes more equipped to accommodate wheelchair-enabled people. Academy Chairman Kamal told DC that they will be discussing the same with KSFDC. Many people with disabilities, despite being movie buffs, has kept away from the festival, because of the difficulties to enter theatres in Thiruvananthapuram.
According to staff posted at Kairali, there has not been a single case of a delegate on wheelchairs. “If they come half an hour early, we will be able to find a suitable seat for them. When delegates with a limp came in, we got them chairs which were put at the entrance itself.” Though Kalabhavan Theatre has a ramp inside, there is a step next to the ticket counter. The only state-owned theatre with a ramp to convey a wheelchair-enabled person from the theatre entrance to the seats is Tagore Theatre.
However, this time, some with a disability in just one leg had to walk to the far end of Tagore, as the seats near the entrance were occupied, according to R Gireeshkumar, a person with disability. He is also a member of IFFK organising committee. The private theatres are also not equipped to welcome people on wheelchairs. In August, a group of persons, who were wheelchair-enabled, were invited to watch a movie at Aries Plex.
There was an elevator to take them to the multiplex floor. But inside the theatre, their wheelchairs had to be lifted to the respective seats. Then the owners had promised that a ramp would be created, according to Manikantan Nair, one of the invitees. “Perhaps the Corporation should impose tax on theatres which have ramps, and introduce deductions for theatres which are wheelchair-friendly,” he says.