Shobhika Kalra and Wings of Angelz volunteer team after a Ramp Day in Dubai
Dubai - Dubai-based Shobhika Kalra through her initiative by the same name, Wings of Angelz, has helped build over 1,000 wheelchair ramps across the UAE.
A 28-year-old wheelchair-bound woman, along with a team of volunteers, is all set to launch an app to record places without wheelchair access and follow up with authorities to make the facility accessible to them. The app 'Wings of Angelz' will be launched on January 12 at the Emirates Metro Station.
Dubai-based Shobhika Kalra through her initiative by the same name, Wings of Angelz, has helped build over 1,000 wheelchair ramps across the UAE. The app launch event will see Shobhika and her team help more people get involved through their digital platform.
Shobhika, who lost her ability to walk when she was only 13 due to a degenerative disease, said: "Our new app will help enrol more people engage in the activity and will also help us build a database of places that urgently require ramps."
Shobhika and her team hold events quarterly called 'Ramp Day' across the city where the wing-eers (volunteers) break out into smaller groups and walk around the city, identify places that aren't wheelchair accessible, approach the authorities concerned and request them to make their facilities wheelchair accessible.
"All the information collected has been entered to our database. Post that, our wing-eers closely follow up and support these organisations till they become accessible. However, with the new app, the process of recording information will become easier for the volunteer. He/she will have a scoreboard where they will score for each step they complete to build a ramp.
"The scoreboard will help declare volunteers of the week. The app will also make this information available to organisations for self-improvement and to wheelchair users to make decisions about places they want to visit as the app will be linked to the Google maps."
Happy to rectify mistakes
The restaurateur of Adaminte Chayakada, who recently got a ramp made at his restaurant in Karama after being approached by Shobhika, said: "I have always given importance to my restaurant's decor so that my customers can have a comfortable dine-in experience. But when approached by Shobhika I realised I missed making my restaurant wheelchair accessible. We worked on this suggestion and now have a ramp to make our restaurant wheelchair-friendly. Thanks to Shobhika for encouraging us to overcome our disability and helping us help others."
The management at another restaurant, Chinchaaus in Karama that has also built a ramp following suggestions from Wings of Angelz team, said: "Wings of Angelz made us realise our snag. It was such a small thing but it makes such a huge difference.
Thanks to their team for helping us open our doors to all."