After being denied entry in a restaurant for being disabled, Nipun contacted Zomato, suggesting that their search should have a filter for disabled-friendly restaurants. Zomato will now cover all 50,000 restaurants which are listed on their portal.
Nipun Malhotra wanted to enjoy a casual outing with his friends, but what was supposed to be a fun get-together turned into a very unfortunate and saddening incident. He was denied entry at Keya, one of Delhi’s posh restaurants, just because he is disabled.
This incident, which took place in March 2015, triggered Nipun to make Zomato add a filter for “disabled-friendly” restaurants in their search.
Nipun, a disability rights activist, started his quest to make restaurants more inclusive and he has achieved a major milestone. Zomato, an online restaurant search and discovery application, will now have a disabled friendly filter. The new feature will be implemented in six metros within two weeks, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai.
With help of a few disability rights activists, all 50,000 restaurants listed on Zomato are being individually approached for the successful implementation of this move.
Zomato is facing some difficulty though, since disability is a broad area to cover. Currently they are focusing on ‘barrier-free’, wheelchair-accessible restaurants.
The idea struck Nipun during his recent visit to the US. He wanted to find a disabled friendly Italian restaurant and his friend introduced him to an app called Yelp, which is similar to Zomato and has features to ascertain whether a restaurant is disabled-friendly or not.
When he returned to India, he contacted Zomato with the idea and they happily agreed to work on his suggestion.
To be a disabled-friendly restaurant, a place needs to have ramps, a Braille menu, hand railings, tactile markings and screen readers.