Kochi: It has been a great year for disabled-friendly accessible tourism, with over 1000 people with disabilities, the aged, sick and those who need special care and attention, touring places across the country using the services of a firm set up exclusively for the purpose.
Special Care Holidays, based at Kochi, which specializes in disabled-friendly tourism, has taken these 1000 people which include the relatives and friends who support the disabled in the pleasure trip. Simon George, chairman of Prathyasa Foundation, who himself is a disabled, floated the firm a year ago with a vision to let the marginalized too enjoy travel and tour without hassle. A total of 300 disabled, 200 aged and 150 sick people enjoyed the fruits of the trips.
“Five people from outside the country too availed our packages to tour Kerala,” said Simon George.
“Whether it is a domestic tour or an international package, we take special care of our guests with disability - wheel chair bound, visually impaired, hearing impaired, speech impaired and intelligently challenged. Our Dubai tour is set to take off soon with 30 people who include people who accompany those with special needs,” said Simon George.
“We also provide the guests with modern equipment, trained tour coordinators and guides, doctors and nursing staffs and interpreters of sign language. Our vision has been to provide opportunities for the differently -abled so that they will celebrate life, rising above all limitations, fears and inhibitions,” said Simon George.
“The Prime Minister has launched an initiative called Accessible India while Kerala has become the first state to launch an accessible tourism wing in tourism department. More and more initiatives are taking place to make sure that no disability is a barrier in enjoying tours and accessing places,” said Simon George who is also writing a book on accessible tourism. He can be contacted at ph: 9446806296...