‘Just mention of exemption for disabled not enough’, say activists

Salil Chaturvedi (48), disability campaigner, said that prior to playing of the national anthem at cinema halls, the Supreme Court order must ask theatres to flash a message conveying exemptions granted to the differently-abled people.

Written by Harsha Raj Gatty | Panaji | Updated: December 1, 2016 9:58 am
Supreme Court Judgement, National anthem compulsary, national anthem mandatory, national anthem in theaters, Supreme Court of India, indian express news Photo for representational purpose.

In the backdrop of the Supreme Court order, disability rights activists say that the mere mention of “exemption” for the differently-abled in the order is not enough to protect them from “overzealous nationalists.”

“The honourable apex court must mention measures to be taken by the theatre owners to sensitise the audience that disabled person may be present in its film screening halls. Not only the disabled, even the pregnant women and the elderly citizens must be given some concession as they may not be able to swiftly react or remain standing,” President of Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG), Avelino de Sa, said.

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Salil Chaturvedi (48), disability campaigner, said that prior to playing of the national anthem at cinema halls, the Supreme Court order must ask theatres to flash a message conveying exemptions granted to the differently-abled people.  In July this year, the 48-year old paraplegic was faulted by a couple for not standing as the national anthem played prior to the screening of the Rajnikant-starrer Kabali. Wheelchair-bound Salil was hit on his back. Since the incident, Salil said, he has stopped going to the theatres.