Differently-abled: The men who man the Janpath lane car parking

We don't know his name but, he is 'deaf and dumb' and he has been manning this car park at Janpath lane for the past thirty years.

Janpath is one street market in that needs no introduction to anyone visiting Delhi, but perhaps the car park at Janpath Lane needs an introduction of some sorts.

Janpath Lane is perhaps the only lane in Central Delhi’s Connaught Place region which is not under NDMC’s (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) Parking Rates and Regimes for what we believe are reasons emanating out of a spirit of both, humanity and generosity. Because this lane, adjacent to the Janpath shopping centre on the lane opposite the famous Saravana Bhawan eatery is being manned for the past three decades by a team of  five ‘deaf and dumb’ men…There are no parking tickets in here (neither manual nor computerised),  no fixed parking rates either, you can give as much as your heart desires and the wallet allows.

In case there is a difficulty in communicating with a member of the public or a person who has parked their car in there, then these men are aided by a few fruit sellers sitting on the corners of the lane, who have, after all these years of sharing the same ‘place’ (or ‘street’) of work,  learnt to communicate with these ‘differently-abled’ parking attendants in sign language

The man in the photograph above is the oldest member in this 5-member team of parking men. He has been here for 30 long years. He uses his hands to guide people to park their cars in and out of this lane and keeps a watchful eye on the cars he takes charge off, similarly with the rest. We learnt through the street shop vendor (selling shoes at the Janpath street market that begins next to this lane) that this old man has been able to educate his children and marry off his daughters into good homes all through the money he has earned at this car park with honesty and hard work in all these years. Try trusting him and his colleagues to take care of your car when you next head to good old Janpath for your season’s street shopping.

“Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.”- Martina Navratilova

The Janpath Lane Car Park

Scott Hamilton once said,  “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

So, lets ‘try’ to treat all beings, humans or animals, plants or insects, abled or dis-abled with respect if not love and care, for in this vicious circle termed ‘life’ what goes around does indeed come around.

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