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'Wheelchair can't go inside': Physically disabled woman says Gurgaon restaurant refused entry

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Gurugram, Feb 13: Young Shrishti Pandey, a Delhi resident with a physical disability has claimed that a popular restaurant in Gurgaon refused her entry as it would "disturb other customers".

Image credit: ANI

Narrating the ordeal, Shrishti tweeted, "I went to my @raastagurgaon with my best friend and her fam last night. This was one of my first outings in so long and I wanted to have fun. Bhaiya (my friend's elder brother) asked for a table for four. The staff at the desk ignored him twice."

"The third time he asked, the staff replied with "wheelchair andar nahi jaygi" (The wheelchair can't go inside). We thought it was an accessibility issue, but it wasn't. We told him that we'd manage, just book us a table. What he said next left all of shocked for a while," she said.

"He told us pointing towards me that "andar customers disturb hojaynge" (The customers will get disturbed) and denied us entry, with so much of ease. This came from the staff of a freaking fancy place," she added.

"After a lot of arguing, he told us to get a table outside.Now: The outside seating was ridiculous. It was getting cold. And I can't sit out in cold for long because my body gets spastic. It's literally unsafe for me?.Why should I be made to sit outside anyway? segregated from everyone else? If we wanted an outside seating we would have asked for it?," she questioned.

Eventually we were asked to leave. Obviously.

"But is me just existing that much of a disturbance for you? Why do I always have to fight for the smallest of things? Why was I DENIED entry in a public place? Who are they to deny my entry just like that?, she pointed.

"Should I stop going out at all only then? Because apparently I don't belong with others. Because I'm a "disturbance" for others. Because their moods apparently get "ruined" after looking at me. I am heartbroken. Awfully sad. And I feel disgusted," she concluded.

Speaking to ANI, Shrishti told But this is not the first occasion on which such a treatment has been meted out to Srishti who says that there is no sensitivity and care for the disabled among the people. "We need basic acceptance and our rights as much as any other citizen in this country", rued Shrishti.

"The way people like me are treated we possibly can't go out anywhere from our house because every single day when I go out a detailed recce needs to be done to see which places I can go or accessible for me because there the infrastructure everywhere is not suitable for the disabled. And in the other places either we are made to feel of word or unwelcome," she added.

Founder Partner at Raasta-The Caribbean Lounge, Goumtesh Singh, posted an apology on Twitter for the incident.

"We are deeply regretful of the episode that took place at Raasta Gurgaon on Friday evening. We stand for inclusivity and would never want anyone to feel singled out for any reason. As a part of our efforts, we have already reached out to the aggrieved patron to personally apologize to them. We are also taking steps internally to heighten sensitivity and empathy for our staff to ensure this never happens again."

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