A group of PwDs to embark on a journey from Delhi to Kargil on their retrofitted scooty

Sept. 10, 2021, 6:55 p.m.

By:Reshma Jain

It is said that Life is a journey and one must enjoy the ride. While life is smooth for some, there are others who are brave enough to overcome hurdles in life and face challenges with courage. Yes, there are Persons with Disabilities (PwD) who have shown and proved through accessible awareness that nothing is impossible in life.

In an effort to enhance and empower the personality and confidence of persons with disabilities, the Eagle Specially Abled Rider’s (ESAR) team was formed in 2018 with the vision of transforming India into a disabled-friendly nation. ESAR believes that there is a need for a formal community/group that aims specifically at increasing accessibility, inclusivity, mobility and visibility for people with disabilities in India.

“The Eagle Specially Abled Riders is not a dream, a reality that the whole world has seen,” states the founder of ESAR Ameer Siddiqui. Hailing from a lower-class family, Polio survivor Ameer Ulla Siddiqui was born and brought up in a small village of Uttar Pradesh. Life was never smooth for Ameer, given the challenges he had to face every day. Suffering from Polio (70%) Ameer had to conquer several direct and indirect consequences. However, this strong-willed man has been working for empowerment of disabled persons for the last 20 years.

“I went through several hurdles in my life which can be attributed to my physical inability. But I would like to admit that learning from these hurdles made me strong and more determined than ever towards my life goal. With time, spreading awareness among disabled persons became the goal of my life. Thus, the journey of ESAR started with a single individual and was later supported by several like-minded individuals,” shared Ameer.

“Amongst several ways we tested, awareness rides were identified as one of the most effective ways of interacting with large communities with significant diversity. As a strong believer of the Sanskrit phrase “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, I had decided to make this activity a global event with a credential of more than 50,000 km of awareness ride on a retrofitted scooty,” added 38-year-old Ameer who completed his M.Phil and MBA.

ESAR had successfully completed the World’s longest accessible awareness ride with the theme ‘Importance of Education for Differently-Abled’ in 2019. The 15-day ride witnessed 16 passionate PwDs covering a distance of 3,500 kms from Delhi (India Gate) - Mumbai (Gateway of India) - Delhi (India Gate) in their retrofitted scooty.

ESAR had also successfully completed World’s First Awareness Ride for 'Rape Free India' from Delhi to Delhi via Chhattisgarh- a 3,000 km ride in retrofitted scooty held from December 4-15, 2020 on the occasion of World Disability Day. Another Accessible Awareness Ride was also organised for a distance of more than 50,000 km for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

Apart from riding, the ESAR team was actively involved in social work across Delhi during COVID-19. The ESAR team had distributed grocery and food to more than 100 disabled families and had provided financial support too. Essentials like sanitisers, masks, etc were distributed to paramilitary forces, security guards, rickshaw pullers, beggars, homeless, anganwadi workers and migrant labourers.

The ESAR team was honoured by Limca Book of Records, India Book of Records, World Book of Records, World Records India & World Book of Talent Records. To encourage and empower Persons with disabilities, an Accessible Awareness Ride for ‘Rape Free India-II’, will be organised by ESAR from Delhi-Kargil-Delhi. A group of PwDs will embark on the 10-day journey, beginning October 10, 2021 on their retrofitted scooty. “This is the world's highest accessible awareness ride that is being organised. Covering a distance of 2,500 km on their retrofitted scooty, the main objective of this ride is to enhance and empower the personality and confidence of PwDs. We also aim to promote gender equality, empower women and girl children,” concluded Ameer.

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