Anand Mahindra Gets Inspired To Build An SUV For People With Disabilities. Here’s Why

Modified On Sep 01, 2021 08:12 PM By CarDekho

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Anand Mahindra has promised to gift each of India’s first Paralympics gold medalists an SUV

At this year’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Avani Lekhara won the gold medal and set a paralympic world record at the Women’s 10-metre Air Rifle (AR) Standing event. Meanwhile, Sumit Antil, too, spectacularly won a Paralympics gold medal for Men’s Javelin Throw, where he broke his own record three times out of five throws! In response to the news of these athletes winning gold medals for India, Anand Mahindra has promised on Twitter to gift each of them an SUV. 

Interestingly, the Mahindra Chairman tagged Pratap Bose in his tweet about Sumit Antil’s SUV, and asked him to design ‘another’ ‘Javelin Edition’ of the Mahindra XUV700. This reconfirms that Mahindra will be developing a special edition of its newest 7-seater SUV. Mahindra had recently trademarked the name 'Javelin'. One of those two SUVs will make it to Neeraj Chopra’s garage, as we had reported earlier. It remains to be seen what Pratap Bose, the legendary Indian automotive designer, comes up with for Neeraj and Sumit. 

But it’s Avani Lekhara’s SUV that’s more likely to feature actual hardware changes. Earlier this month, athlete and Paralympics medalist Deepa Malik had appealed to Anand Mahindra on Twitter to build a wheelchair-friendly SUV. She had tweeted a video of herself where the car electronically lifts her wheelchair into the car. Mahindra said that his team of engineers was working with True Assistive Technology, a Bangalore-based company, to make that a reality. According to Mahindra’s tweet, True Assist Tech has already helped the carmaker install wheelchair-assist systems in their cars for specially-abled car buyers. Avani’s gift from Anand Mahindra will be the first of the wheelchair-accessible Mahindra SUVs. 

It must be noted that wheelchair-friendly vehicles are a rarity even globally, and no factory-spec wheelchair-friendly models currently exist in India. It is unclear if the wheelchair assistance system will be offered as a variant on any specific Mahindra SUV (or MPV). 

Several aftermarket mods are available to make your car wheelchair accessible. Ezymov’s car roof and ramp modifications come with a 1-year warranty, and are even RTO-approved! We hope that similar to Mahindra, other carmakers are also inspired by India’s victories at the Paralympics to create disability-friendly models or variants. That, along with accessible public infrastructure development, would be a significant step towards empowering people with disabilities in India.

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