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Shopping is often quite difficult for we people with Disabilities

‘Afternoon! I suffer from Multiple Sclerosis(MS), and have to contend with umpteen numbers of disabilities which can be both visible and invisible to the people around me.

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 me, etc.

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 people.

There are some supermarkets that provide manual wheelchairs, but others not even this, unfortunately.

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 a ‘train’!).

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 cart.

And they most times don’t have people to spare to do this.

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 people.

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.

Why?

The ONLY place I found who cheerfully and kindly provides for disabled people is Sarit Centre in Nairobi.

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 again.

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, Mombasa.

rmohamedali@gmail.com

             

 

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