Travelling is getting easier in line with the tectonic changes in the technology and transportation sector. But, things often don’t go well for people with special needs as some of the tourist destinations as well as the transportation facilities remain unwelcoming. Many put their travel plans on hold while others dare to overcome the challenging accessibility. Indian expatriate Ismail bin Yousaf is simply beating the impediments while inspiring specially abled persons to fly high.
The native of Thrissur district of Kerala met with an accident that left him paralysed in 2012 during his work. The wheelchair-bound 32 year old is currently touring various states back home. Ismail started his journey on September 3 this year and is on the way to Leh, the picturesque hill station in India’s Northeast tip. Starting from Nedumbassery International Airport in Kochi, Ismail has so far covered various cities including Chennai, Hyderabad, Gwalior, Agra, Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla. Also, he visited Ladakh while enjoying mountainous views and serene lakes and monasteries.
“I am glad that I could visit these cities while covering the heritage sites and tourism destinations,” he told Gulf Times Community during an online conversation. Ismail managed to cover the sites while travelling in train, bus and auto rickshaw. He took a flight from Nedumbassery to Chennai from where he travelled to Hyderabad by bus and then to Gwalior and Agra by train.
Ismail says that he is driven by the theory that God made him sit in a wheelchair to fly, not to confine himself. For Ismail, the wheelchair is like a throne rather than an ordeal. He is receiving a rousing welcome at various places and visited by VIPs. Ismail said he was given support by friends and relatives who visited him in various cities upon his arrival.
Ismail currently works as quantity surveyor at Qatar Design Consortium. He has gone an extra mile while volunteering for various organisations and government entities. He has been volunteering for Qatar Red Crescent Society for the last three years and won the best volunteer award in 2018. He was part of the FIFA Club World Cup and Asian Games while volunteering for the mega events. He has volunteered for various events by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar Olympic Committee, Qatar Football Association, Qatar Diabetics Centre and Qatar Cancer Society. Ismail regularly attends sport events in Doha including Ooredoo Doha Marathon and Al Dana Green Run. He is part of various community organisations while discharging various roles.