Last Friday, Shrishti Pandey had a harrowing experience when a popular restaurant in Gurugram denied her entry as she was in a wheelchair, saying that it would "disturb other customers".
Recalling the incident on Sunday, Shrishti told ANI, "First they refused to give us a table saying that the customers would be inconvenienced and before that they have ignored my friend's brother's request when he asked them for reservation in the restaurant." Young Shrishti Pandey, a Delhi resident, had gone to the Cyber Hub in Gurugram with her and sought a reservation in an eatery named Raasta, where the manager allegedly denied her entry.
Srishti said, "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." 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. Pandey who is pursuing a Masters's in psychology from Delhi University painfully says that this is her 'daily' struggle.
"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.
Since this young girl has come out and put her ordeal on Twitter and social media, many came out in support of her saying that they would not visit that particular restaurant anymore and also offered her legal support to file a complaint against the restaurant.
"Nobody from the restaurant has got in touch with her so far or offered even an apology", said Shristi to ANI.
Meanwhile, the restaurant management of Raasta, Goumtesh Singh, posted an apology on Twitter for the incident and said that they are taking steps internally to heighten sensitivity and empathy for their staff.
Goumtesh Singh replied to Shrishti on Twitter, "Dear Ms. Srishti Pandey, I am personally looking into this incident. Let me start by apologizing on behalf of the entire team for any bad experience that you may have had. Please rest assured if any of our members are found in the wrong, appropriate action will be taken against them." In another Tweet, Raasta's Goumtesh Singh wrote, "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."