Neha Arora

Abling the Disabled

Her not so good travel experience as a daughter of parents with disabilities led to the inception of Planet Abled, an organization that helps disabled people travel freely.

My name is Neha Arora, and I am the founder of Planet Abled, which provides accessible and inclusive travel solutions for people with different disabilities.

My personal, not so good travel experiences as a daughter of parents with disabilities led to its inception. My father is blind and mother is a wheelchair user. As kids, we never travelled and when we grew up and started travelling there were often instances when we travelled 2000 miles only to discover that the place is not accessible or does not offer a good experience because of their disability. There came a point when our parents stopped travelling, because of the hassle we faced. This hit me really hard. I wondered that if we are facing this issue, others might also be feeling the same. A huge gap existed in the society and no avenues were available.

It was a huge task with no set models. I did my groundwork for two years before finally taking the plunge and left Adobe to start Planet Abled in Jan 2016.

People with disabilities are not considered part of our mainstream society and are always looked upon with sympathy. When it comes to travel, people don’t even consider them doing. Also, travelling pops up questions of inaccessibility, lack of basic amenities and people’s sympathy to name a few.

The world is a book and those who don’t travel, read only one page. Then why should one miss out on reading the most beautiful chapters of life just because s/he has a disability?
Planet Abled was incepted to fill this gap, giving people an avenue to travel freely, leaving behind social inhibitions and apprehensions about their capabilities.

We are one of its kind in the world, serving people of all disabilities together in our group tours, bringing a paradigm shift in travel by creating a platform for inclusive tourism.

We want them to travel the way they want. If they want to travel with a group, solo, with their family/friends or go on a romantic getaway, the possibilities are endless.
We believe - ‘Our Planet is Our Common Inheritance – Everything Is For Everyone’.
We also have a bright feather of successfully conducting the first ever rafting tour for people with disabilities in India.

Accolades –
• India Responsible Tourism Award 2016 by Outlook Traveller and World Travel Market, London - Best Innovation in Travel
• India Responsible Tourism Award 2016 by Outlook Traveller and World Travel Market, London - Over All Winner
• NCPEDP Mphasis Universal Design Award, 2016
• Long listed for World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London, 2016

In personal capacity, I also deliver sessions on Social Entrepreneurship in universities/ colleges including seminars organized by IIMs.

In personal capacity –
• India Inclusion Summit Fellow
• Unltd Delhi Fellow
• WeAreTheCity Rising Star
• Rex Karamveer Chakra Award

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