LIMA (Reuters) – Crowd capital of Lima, Peru, of 10 million people is not easy to circumvent. But it is even more difficult in a wheelchair.
On Tuesday, Mayor of Lima, Jorge Munoz, got a taste of two wheels in the city that controls it, where buses, buses and government offices throughout the city are not accessible to wheelchairs.
Munoz spent the day in a wheelchair after taking on a challenge from Pilar Jauregui, a three-year Period badminton champion for women with disabilities.
Jauregui is looking for another gold medal at Parapan American Games, which will host Peru next week, for athletes with a physical disability, part of a regional multi-sports contest that comes before the Olympics. But she has already been excited before the event to achieve a bigger goal.
“Put yourself in my chair,” said Juaregui with Munoz in a video she shared on Monday, inviting him to spend a full day as a wheelchair user.
“I have very difficult day-to-day challenges, but my biggest challenge, and the biggest challenge for all wheelchair users, is going around the city,” said Juaregui.
The video went viral, and on Tuesday morning Munoz, a 57-year-old lawyer who was best known for his history as fingers of one of Lima's richest areas, was attracted around the city by Juaregui. and reporters groups.
Almost Munoz fell out of his chair as he wanted to climb up a path, and complained that he could not use a public bathroom because he was not sufficiently wide.
“I took her challenge,” said Munoz on the trip. “We'll see how we can improve the city's problems.” T
According to disability rights actors in Peru, there is a lot of work to be done.
The city's public bus and rail offers do not have easy access to wheelchairs, much less than private bus flocks turning black fumes that most people in the city work every day.
Just last week, a woman fell from her chair due to inadequate installations at the metro station of the city, said Pamela Smith, director of the local advocacy group Society and Disability – SODIS.
“Most of the city is not fully accessible to wheelchair users,” says Smith. “This is what affects people's rights.”
Jauregui, who was born with bilateral hip displacement, said that wheelchair accessible infrastructure is forced to make some of the most vulnerable people in the city pay extra for hiring services, putting them on an unfair financial burden and making creams. major city off-limits.
“You should be able to move around, the freedom to go where you want. But these small obstacles are what you must overcome, ”said Jauregui. “And you learn to overcome them. But there are people who are not athletes, and it is much harder for them. ”
Munoz also challenged district mayors in Lima to spend a day in a wheelchair, increasing the possibility of many mayors in a global city taking part in the “wheelchair challenge”, which could be one of the most significant disability rights campaigns worldwide.
“That's what we like to do, breaking barriers,” said Jauregui.
Reporting by Reuters TV and Mitra Taj; edited by Jonathan Oatis
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