A big shout out today for Neha Arora, founder of Planet Abled, India’s first travel company for differently-abled travellers. Neha hasn’t just set up a company to make travel more accessible, she is taking the bull by the horns and setting out on a long journey to make India as a country more accessible for all types of travellers; meeting with government officials and organising conferences such as this one today #Access2travel which I was proud and yet humbled to be part of.
I may have been promoting India, and a “different India” for 20 years, but there is little challenge is providing wonderful experiences to able bodied travellers, if you know your product and hotels and can read your clients expectations, and find the right providers, then the job is done.
What Neha is doing is inspirational and, she truly does it from the heart. Many of the things we wouldn’t even stop to consider; being able to read the next stop on the train, being able to hear flight announcements, being able to use a loo, are not things that blind, deaf or wheelchair bound travellers can take for granted. It really brought home just how lucky so many of us are, and just how much of a struggle differently abled people face to live in a country such as India, never mind the challenges they face in order to travel.
Planet Abled is assisting these determined travellers to fulfil their dreams, taking a 70-year-old wheelchair bound lady white-water rafting, taking blind and deaf groups trekking, they are making the impossible, possible.
Neha is a smiling, determined bundle of energy, she is breaking the mould, she is fighting her corner and is a force to be reckoned with. I know who I would bet my money on to start making the changes that need to happen. She is very much in the present but watch this space, she is a name of the future.
Oh, and hoteliers beware, we need to know just how accessible your properties are and I will be checking!