suffer from Multiple Sclerosis(MS), and have to
contend with umpteen numbers of disabilities which
can be both visible and invisible to the people
But, they ALL have a nasty
impact on my daily life.
Unfortunately, unlike many others, I live on my
own without much help with my daily living and
therefore cannot assign others to do my shopping for
This creates very frustrating problems for me due
to the fact that I have very limited energy and
movement and get exhausted quite fast.
Therefore, shopping is quite a challenge and more
so when some of our supermarkets, not to mention our
public transport system, DO NOT cater for disabled
There are some supermarkets that provide manual
wheelchairs, but others not even this,
The ones that provide the manual ones do so with
the belief that the disabled person will arrive
there with somebody in tow who will push the
wheelchair and at most they would have to provide
somebody to push the shopping cart (this makes quite
It never crosses the supermarkets’ high command
that people with disabilities can live alone and
therefore when one arrives, like me, to shop, they
waste a lot of time to look for two people to push
the wheelchair and another to deal with the shopping
And they most times don’t have people to spare to
I tried informing one such supermarket about half
an hour in advance so that we would not waste each
others time, but when I called, the person answering
told me to come with a maid or something as they
would not be able to avail one of their staff.
When I talked to the manager, I was given the
above explanation, but he was good enough to
understand my predicament and provided the necessary
Some other supermarkets provide two wheelchairs,
but they are only for show.
ONLY an amputee would be capable of using those
since they have no foot-rest on them.
I have talked to the management umpteen numbers
of times over the years since they opened their
branch here to no avail.
It would seem that they don’t care.
Another supermarket branch, ironically, provides
carts to hook up to wheelchairs, but no wheelchairs.
Again, I asked the manager and was told that it
is not their policy to do so.
The ONLY place I found who cheerfully and kindly
provides for disabled people is Sarit Centre in
Here, from the disabled parking slot one can ask
for a wheelchair and it will be brought by a minder
who will very willingly take you where you want to
go without expecting ‘rewards’ in return and back
Thumbs up to Sarit Centre for this provision.
Nakumatt was also the ONLY one which provided an
automated wheelchair with an attached cart which
allowed the shopper complete freedom to do his/ her
shopping on their own.
Now, my question to these supermarkets is this -
if they do not want to provide for disabled people,
shouldn’t they announce so to the public?
That their branches will NOT cater or entertain
disabled people ... especially the ones, like me,
who shop alone?!
Frustrated shopper, Raziya Mohamedali,