This 30-year-old speech and hearing-impaired man has done something extraordinary just to spread a simple message of equality. Even though he cannot hear, but he is determined that his plea doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
“We can handle the road. Treat us equally and grant driving licenses to the hearing-impaired.” – is the plea that Muthukumar D. from Bengaluru wants to share with people. There’s a board attached to his bike that says “Bengaluru rider is deaf”, it also has a flag of India drawn on it.
Inspired by a friend from Kerala, Muthukumar started the journey on his Pulsar 220CC bike on April 25 and covered 17,836 km in 41 days and returned to Bengaluru on June 5. This shows the level of determination and grit he has to show the world that people like him are no different from others and should be given the same rights.
He told TOI that while on his journey, he stayed approximately an hour in most cities, made overnight halts at some and met some bikers. “I liked the Odisha stretch the most,” he said.
But what made him do this almost incredible task?
He was denied a driving license, despite clearing all tests. He, therefore, made a choice to go on a ride, entwined with a message, without the licence. What bothered him immensely was the fact that if a license can be issued to people who drive without helmets, seatbelts and their earplugs on, “why not to me, someone who follows all the rules,” he asked.
The extraordinary bike ride started from Mumbai and then to Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and so on. While coming back, he also covered Tamil Nadu and Kerala and in total this man has covered 23 states.
Muthukumar planned this trip on his own over a period of 18 months and funded it as well.
Keeping road safety in focus, do you think hearing-impaired people should be issued Driving license?