How much harder is life for disabled people in countries that don't have an equivalent to the Americans with Disabilities Act?
I'm going to include a couple pictures before I answer this question. I want you to ask youself, "How is a disabled person supposed to travel in India?"(Traffic in Mumbai, speaks for most of India)(The roads in India, like small alleyways, main roads, and sidelines. The highways are also like this, but they are maintained)(The local train)(The handicap compartment in the local train)Let me explain the difficulties I have when maneuvering safety in a wheelchair, in Mumbai.1. The first picture is a classic sight in India and in every major city (even small towns these days). There are little to no traffic laws. If you've stayed abroad like the United States, you'll know how many rules and regulations there are for pedestrians, the elderly, children, and the disabled. There's only one rule here, "You better watch yourself before you cross the road, because if you come under my car, it'll be all your fault." (In a nutshell)The cars don't have to watch themselves, the public does. They even drive motorcycles on the sidewalks to beat traffic. Now, combine that situation with picture number two, how is someone with a walker, cane, crutches, or wheelchair supposed to roam around Mumbai (let's not generalize)? Yes, a lot of roads are much, much better than the aforementioned picture, but a lot of roads are either like this or worse.There is no place available for people whom are disabled to walk, without fear of their lives. I've experienced this, motorcycles have almost crashed into me when walking along the side of the road. Shouldn't there be some laws supporting those who are handicapped? Forget about laws, why can't the general public and handicaps have their own lane to walk on, without the interference of motorcycles? I know why, because no one's going to listen.2. These are the local trains in Mumbai. First off, let me start with the stations, some (not all) stations have a ramp available for those on wheelchairs, which is quite wonderful, but that's the only good thing I can say. Do you know where they fall short? At the trains.Let's look at the third picture, this is a common scene when you're traveling by the local train, people hanging near the enterance/exit of the train. You must be thinking, "That's not so bad," yeah, that's not considered crowded. Look at the first picture, imagine twice the amount of people and add them to the third picture, that's what it's like daily in Mumbai. Now, for our (people with disabilities) safety, we have a separate compartment available for handicaps and those who are chornically ill, but there's no ramp available for those on wheelchairs. How is a handicap supposed to ride the local to get to their destination if there's no ramp? The public doesn't care if this compartment is for handicaps or not, if it's empty, they'll climb in.*3. Now, most bulidings in India don't have ramps available, some don't have elevators and they are seven storey buildings, and some don't have wide enough doorways for those on wheelchairs to enter. The malls all have elevators, ramps, and apt doorways, but the only thing it's lacking is courtesy from others.People who are walking, whom are not pregnant, not pushing a stroller, whom are not old, are using elevators, pushing ahead of handicaps. We are forced to stay in line, and when someone says anything to them, they make faces.Check out this answer for more information (Virali Modi's answer to How are disabled people under the age of 18 treated by Indian society?)In short, it's extremely hard living life as a handicap in a country that's not wheelchair friendly. I'm sure those with other disabilities have other problems than me, but this is what I have to face on a daily basis.*The Mumbai Metro is wheelchair friendly, just the roads surrounding the metro aren't.There have also been extremely nice people who have helped me cross the street, and those who have waited for me to cross the street. I'm not generalizing, but overall, this is how it is here in India for someone on a wheelchair.(Photos - Google Images)