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This article was first published 9 years ago  » News » Shame! Wheelchair-bound man denied entry in Delhi restaurant

Shame! Wheelchair-bound man denied entry in Delhi restaurant

Source: PTI
March 07, 2015 13:54 IST
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A disabled rights activist was denied entry into an upscale bar and restaurant in south Delhi, sparking condemnation from rights activists on Saturday.

Nipun Malhotra, who was born with arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder, which leads to lack of muscles in arms and legs, was denied entry to the restaurant on Friday night.

Malhotra, who is also co-founder of the Nipman Foundation, was allegedly told by the security and the manager of the restaurant that he would not be allowed inside as he was disabled.

“Our friends had decided to go to Keya for dinner. So, nine of my friends, five boys and three girls went to the restaurant. One of my friends politely told the manager that one of us would be coming on a wheelchair and that he should ensure that he reaches the table.

“The manager asked if the friend was injured or had a disability. When my friend informed him that he has a disability, the manager said that as a policy they do not allow disabled people inside,” Malhotra claimed.

“When my friend told me about it, I could not believe him and reached there with my brother. The security there stopped us from going inside saying the hotel as a policy does not allow disabled inside and started pulling my wheelchair. I was shocked. The manager then came out and to flip the argument said that we do not allow stag entries. When I told him that already three of my male friends and many others were inside, then how could he say that they do not allow stag entries?” Malhotra added.

The restaurant said it was a case of misunderstanding. “It is a clear case of misunderstanding. Because of Holi we were getting a lot of drunk people at the gate. As a precautionary measure we were restricting the number of boys inside,” said General Manager Premjit Kumar

“Nipun was accompanied by two more boys and allowing them inside would have increased the number of men. So we just said that we are not allowing anymore stag entries,” the manager claimed. 

Javed Abidi, convener of the Disability Rights Group, said those behind the incident should be punished.

“It is horrible without any doubt. It defies the Disability Act of 1995. In fact, the Act should not just be condemned but also severely punished,” he said.

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien tweeted his email address to Malhotra asking for details and promised to raise the issue in Parliament next week.

Disability Rights activist Malvika Iyer said the incident highlights the need to launch a sensitisation drive about the rights of the disabled people.

“We talk about the rights of the disabled people, about inclusion in education and employment sector. But this incident clearly shows that societal attitude is the biggest barrier for disabled people. It indicates there is a need for massive sensitisation and we are glad that this incident is being talked about,” she said. 

Image: Nipun Malhotra was born with arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder, which leads to lack of muscles in arms and legs. Photograph: @nipunmalhotra/Twitter

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