Indian national on wheelchair expedition to explore Southeast Asia

Indian national on wheelchair expedition to explore Southeast Asia

GEORGE TOWN,. Hassan Imam became paralysed due to polio when he was a child but that did not stop him from exploring Southeast Asia using a wheelchair to raise awareness about the critical need for accessibility.

Hassan, 25, from Bihar, India started his journey to explore Southeast Asia after successfully travelled from India to Bangladesh in his wheelchair crossing approximately 10,000km.

He had taken seven months to complete the India-Bangladesh expedition starting March 2023.

“This awareness campaign aims to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in public places. This is a campaign that deserves a lot of attention in the contemporary world,” the graduate in Russian from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India told Bernama when met here recently.

Hassan said he arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Chennai, India by plane early this month.

“From Kuala Lumpur, I continued my journey using a wheelchair to Perak before arriving in Penang in four days. I will continue my journey to Kedah and Perlis before continuing to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and China,” he said.

According to Hassan, throughout his ‘World Trip On Wheelchair’ journey, people came forward to help with food, money, and accommodation.

Hassan also learned that most tourist attractions and public transportation systems do not have ramps for wheelchair users.

“Many theatres, hotels and malls in India are still not wheelchair-friendly, but most places like that in Malaysia adopt a wheelchair-friendly concept,” he added.

His vehicle for this journey is battery-powered and can be used as a wheelchair and a scooter at the same time.

It is the brainchild of a group of students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, Chennai, which can travel about 40km on a single charge.


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