Arman Ali. Image credit: Facebook

Assam’s disability rights activist Arman Ali had a harrowing time in Chennai as he was treated ‘horribly’ by two Uber drivers and had to miss his flight and an important meeting due to the incident.

Ali, an employee of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), in a Facebook post on Thursday alleged that the first Uber driver cancelled the trip around 15 minutes after verbally confirming it, while the second one refused to put his wheelchair in the backseat, “pushed out of the cab” and cancelled the trip.

Ali, a wheel chair bound  person, said that because of the incident, he missed a flight and a meeting and had to shell out Rs 14,000 to book a fresh air ticket.

“I was treated horribly and #discriminated against by @uber @uber_india in #chennai yesterday evening. I had booked the 1st Uber for the airport at 3 pm which I verbally confirmed with the driver. He kept me waiting for 10-15 minutes and then he cancelled the trip,” he said in the post.

Ali booked another car of the same service provider, but after he got into the car and had his luggage put in, the driver was unable to put his wheelchair in the boot.

“I requested him to put it in the backseat to which he refused and said he doesn’t want to do the trip. I was unceremoniously pushed out of the cab and he cancelled the trip. I lost a huge amount of time due to these two uber drivers misbehaviour,” he said.

“When I finally reached the airport, the counter was already closed and I had missed the flight. Thus, I had to buy a new ticket for Rs 14,000 and wait for two more hours. This also resulted in my missing an important meeting scheduled for the same evening,” the post read.

People with disabilities (PWDs) face discrimination in India “every day” even after the country ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) long back and enacted the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act in 2016, he asserted.

“Government talks about PWDs being Divyang (divine bodies) but we are being treated as third class citizens and like burdens on society,” the NCPEDP official regretted.

Ali on Friday tweeted: “Uber continues to make a mockery of my humiliation with a shoddy apology and ‘offering’ to refund cancellation fee of Rs 45.”


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