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Wheelchair Cricket India Association #DrivewithAbility Campaign goes Viral

Wheelchair Cricket India Association

The Wheelchair Cricket India Association (WCIA) recently launched a #DrivewithAbility campaign to raise awareness about driving in the disabled community. In the campaign, so far, two videos have been released, both of which have gone viral. 

 The videos were launched after a teaser giving a glimpse of the campaign. It showcased what people think about disabled drivers on-road and whether or not they are aware of disabled driving rights. The motive of the campaign is to spread the word and fill the void of information related to driving with a disability. It further intends to encourage members of the disabled community, as well as able-bodied individuals, to come to the forefront and become the face and ambassador of the movement. 

The Bigger Picture

Soon after the teaser, two videos were released in a gap of a week. In the first video, the CEO of WCIA Sqn Ldr (Retd.) Abhai Pratap Singh narrates his story of overcoming prejudice around disability and establishing himself as an entrepreneur. He says that most of the successful people in the disabled community can drive themselves. Pointing out the problems, he mentions the unsafe roads, lack of parking space, and other facilities for persons with disabilities, along with prejudices around the community which forbid them to come out and drive.  

Encouraging people of the disability community to come out and drive, Sqn Ldr(Retd.) Abhai Pratap Singh says, “Till the time, we don’t come out and drive,  people, organisations and the government will not realise our needs. As and when people from the disabled community will take the initiative of driving themselves, facilities will be taken care of.”

In the other video, the Indian Wheelchair Cricket Team Captain Somjeet Singh talks about how he ignored the voices around him to pave his journey. Avoiding people advising him that cricket wasn’t for him to successfully play national and international matches, he has represented India. In the video, he emphasises the importance of driving and narrates how basic skills like driving helped him gain confidence and made him socially aware. 

“I learnt to drive, acquired my licence and freed my mobility from dependency on others. Before, when I was dependent on others for going out, the world seemed very limited to me. Since I started driving I became more socially aware and I gained the confidence to go out by myself,” Somjeet says in the viral video. 

Through the videos, both Sqn Ldr (Retd.) Abhai Pratap Singh and Somjeet Singh dwell on the importance of driving skills in enhancing mobility and reducing dependency on others. 

The Viral Effect

The video has attracted numerous eyeballs and has gone viral. Both the videos have thousands of views and engagements in them. According to sources, the WCIA is flooded with numerous inquiries regarding government schemes, relaxations, and acquiring licenses etc. In wake of the extraordinary response, WCIA will soon be launching a series of videos on the procedure for approval of retro fitment/adaptation kit, modifications in the vehicle, tax benefits, rights, and how to get a license. 

Driving and Beyond

Although the #DrivewithAbility will be an ongoing event addressing the issues of mobility and accessibility faced by the disabled community on an everyday basis. But the plan of action for the next two months is quite eventful for the WCIA. According to sources, in the multilevel campaign, WCIA approaches to raise awareness amongst students in the schools by conducting seminars and competitions like writing, poetry, painting on inclusivity. Campus Ambassadors will be appointed in universities and colleges to reach as well as make the youth aware of general rules and regulations with regards to disability driving. Office employees will be sensitized to create a disabled-friendly environment through workshops. General Public in malls and public spaces are targeted through Nukkad Natak. The countrywide public is targeted through Public Engagement Activities such as missed call alert campaigns. Furthermore, through electronic media like radio, information will be disseminated to raise awareness on an issue that will help in influencing & changing public opinion and behaviour on an issue.

Likewise, WCIA is aiming to bring forth the stories of success of people with disabilities to empower others. It also attempts to make people of the disabled community understand how a basic skill such as driving can open the doors of so many opportunities and help you pave your own way. 

Appeal of Participation

The campaign appeals to the disabled community to come out and drive to make people, organisations, and governments realise their needs.  It also urges the able-bodied for their contribution to create an inclusive environment. It also propels the message that we are all sitting in the driving seats of our life and that we should not be scared of the speed breaker and sit at home, instead we should press the accelerator and move ahead in life.

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