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Woman with disability claims she was denied entry into Raasta. Pub says never denied service

Srishti Pandey has alleged that staff of leading Gurugram pub denied her entry to avoid ‘disturbing’ other customers. Manager says she was seated outside for ‘safety reasons’.

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New Delhi: Srishti Pandey, a 22-year-old woman with a locomotor disability who is wheelchair-bound, has alleged that she was denied entry into a leading pub, Raasta, located in DLF Cyberhub, Gurugram. 

Responding to the allegations, Raasta’s manager, Madhav Singh Chauhan, told ThePrint that Pandey was never denied service, but they could not let her party sit inside “for their safety”. 

Pandey, an MA psychology student, has said that she had gone to the pub at 9 pm Friday with a friend and the friend’s family, but was not allowed inside. 

Taking to Twitter, she alleged that the person at the pub’s front desk first ignored her party altogether, and then refused to let them inside. 

“He told us pointing towards me that “andar customers disturb hojaynge” (The customers will get disturbed) and denied us entry, with so much of ease. This came from the staff of a freaking fancy place,” Pandey wrote on her Twitter account. 

However, Chauhan who said he was the one speaking to Pandey the night of the incident   said, “We couldn’t let her go inside because there was a lot of rush and people were dancing. A wheelchair could have caused problems or could hurt/ harm her or themselves,” he said.

“We didn’t allow her for safety reasons, but never denied her services,” he added.

Raasta isn’t disabled-friendly. There are two steps that lead you into the pub, making it inaccessible for wheelchair users another reason cited by Chauhan for seating Pandey and her party outside.

‘I am heartbroken’; not the first such incident

The experience left Pandey feeling isolated and othered.

“Should I stop going out at all only then? Because apparently I don’t belong with others. Because I’m a “disturbance” for others. Because their moods apparently get “ruined” after looking at me. I am heartbroken,” she wrote in her tweet thread. 

This isn’t the first time Pandey hasn’t been entertained by a cafe, pub, or restaurant in the National Capital Region (NCR). 

“A lot of similar incidents have happened to me earlier at different places like schools, a few cafes whose name I don’t remember right now, etc. This isn’t something that’s happening for the first time. A lot of eateries in general are inaccessible in the first place,” Pandey told ThePrint. 

When asked if she was considering any legal action, she said: “I haven’t yet decided how to go about it next.”

(Edited by Rohan Manoj)

Also read: How many people with disabilities have a driving licence in Tamil Nadu?: A story in 79 RTIs


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