It’s a blind date

Participants enjoying themselves at Social Spaces in Delhi

Here’s a radical idea: an evening of food tasting and socialising with people with or without disability, blindfolded

Love in the age of Tinder doesn’t come easily to the differently abled. But with the new app on the block—Inclov —people with disability can get a shot to find their perfect match.

Most dating apps currently available are inaccessible, non-inclusive for people with disability. Inclov focuses on people with mental and physical disorder. However, it is open to all. Derived from ‘Inclusive love” the name Inclov defines the objective of the app.

Disheartened with the existing services and lack of opportunities that people with disability endure to find their life partner, Kalyani Khona and Shankar Srinivasan created the app in 2016.

A few months later they realised that the connections created on the application are not translating into a physical meeting. This led to the curation of ‘Social Spaces’, the first offline meet-up platform for people with or without any disorder.

Initially organised in different cities across the country every month, it has now become a monthly event in Delhi, and is called Social Spaces Delhi Express. Premier venues with ramps at entries for wheelchair, trained staffs, braille menu cards and accessible washrooms are selected.

This month Inclov is organising an event at Pride Plaza Hotel on May 20. Participants will be blindfolded and organised in groups for a session of food tasting. MasterChef India finalist Sadaf Hussain will be cooking different cuisines and will also be hosting the session. This will be followed by a band performance where the participants can enjoy good music.

People attending will get to experience the life of the visually impaired while blindfolded and also get sensitised to people with other kinds of disabilities.

“The main objective is to get them to interact and talk with each other, after which they decide how they want to take it forward,” says Shankar. He further explains that people with disability want to be in a place where they can walk in without being stared at or discriminated. “They like the sense of belonging.” People travel over 300 km from places as far as Chandigarh and Jaipur for being a part of the meet-ups.

Treated differently their whole life, it has been a dream come true for many of the participants. For instance, Manish Raj, a polio patient, was denied entrance to a club where he went to celebrate his graduation party. The whole experience left him so scarred that he avoided all kinds of social gatherings from there on. It was in one of Inclov’s meet-up last year when he entered a nightclub for the first time.

“It is a gathering for all people with or without disability to socialise and make new friends,” says Shankar, summing it up.

So, if you are looking for a different experience and are ready to go through a journey where your entire perspective about disability changes, register yourself online for the event before May 18.

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