Arman Ali – wheelchair user and Director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) while grappling to reach the Chennai airport, was at the receiving end of insensitivity and discrimination from two Uber cab drivers. Ali booked his first ride which was canceled despite a confirmation with the Uber Driver. Subsequently, he booked a second ride and requested the cab driver to place his wheelchair in the backseat as there was no space in the boot; he not only refused to do that but abruptly pushed him out. Ali shares that he faced not only humiliation but also a delay in time which caused him not just to miss his Also Read – Who is your CM candidate, AAP asks BJP Advertise With Us flight and incur a monetary loss, but also an important meeting scheduled the same evening. Arman took to social media as a tool to share his discriminatory experience which goes in violation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016. Ali shares indignantly “I received a verbal confirmation from the driver and after having me wait for about 15 minutes, the driver canceled the booking. In the second cab, after I settled down with my luggage placed in, the cab driver refused to complete the ride because he did not want to put my wheelchair in the back seat.” Also Read – Charge sheet against AAP MLA Gulab Singh Advertise With Us Ali shares that he suffered not just a massive delay but also damage which caused him to purchase a new ticket for Rs 14,000 along with two additional hours of wait time. “This also resulted in my missing an important meeting,” shares the activist who has led campaigns and engaged the national judiciary in upholding the rights of persons with disabilities. Advertise With Us “The country is still not a comfortable place for persons with disabilities,” shares Ali. “Even after India has signed the UN-CRPD and even after the RPWD 2016 has been passed, there is still such discrimination against people with disabilities at every level. Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon as every day, they face discrimination in every field,” he adds. A similar incident occurred in Delhi on July 18th, 2017, when wheelchair user Preeti Singh’s Uber driver threw a fuss, repeatedly complaining that her wheelchair was going to ruin his cab. The distressed Preeti argued saying “Of course I’m going to go with my wheelchair. Nobody asks anyone to keep their legs behind when traveling in a cab, why me?” While various taxi aggregators follow the non-discrimination policy, this seems to be just on paper. They cannot ensure non-discrimination unless training is provided to its drivers with regards to sensitivity and respect towards all its customers. Such incidences are common especially for persons with disabilities which makes sensitizing and training of the drivers towards them an absolute necessity and the need of the hour. Another matter of concern is the fact that the Uber app does not allow wheelchair users to indicate that an individual is wheelchair bound. If the company had this provision, it could ensure that only cars that have a free boot or carrier are sent for such customers.