A well-known Hindu temple has landed into hot water for allegedly denying entry to disabled people with wheelchairs.

Taking this matter into consideration, Damai Disabled Persons’ Association Malaysia (Damai) President V Murugeswaran said this was not the first incident involving a disabled person who wanted to pray at the temple.

This came in after a video of a woman berating the Maha Sivan Alayam temple administration for barring handicapped people from the prayer area went viral on social media.

But, the question right now is WHY?

The reason given by the temple management was:

“Wheelchairs will cause dirt to the sanctity of the temple.”

Isn't it time to stop this discrimination against the disabled?

Murugeswaran said that signage indicating the restrictions had been placed in 2014, but had been removed after then-disabled person senator K Bathmavathi intervened following a protest by Damai at the temple.

“So, I was startled to watch the video, and the temple management mentality remains the same,” he added.

On the other hand, activist and temple advisor Arun Doraisamy asserted that the incident was merely a misunderstanding.

He went on to say that they had found no restriction against wheelchair users in the prayer area. But, due to safety concerns, poor floor conditions, etc., the temporary temple structures do not permit wheelchairs in all places," he said, acknowledging that it was not a disability-friendly environment.

“A new building at the temple will be 'completely' accessible to people with disabilities and will have a wheelchair ramp, '' said Arun Doraisamy.

Following Arun's explanation, Murugeswaran stated that the latter had misinterpreted the issue.

Following the legislation, temples and places of worship are public areas and are governed by laws like the Uniform Building By-Law, which requires that public areas include facilities to make them accessible to the disabled.

Besides leaving the entire Indian community in shock, Dr. Maha who is a well-known scientist took to her Facebook page, to narrate how her mother was also denied entry to the Shivan temple as she was on a wheelchair.

Invisible dirt is allowed, people with filthy minds and filthier acts are allowed, but people in wheelchairs are not allowed at places of worship.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for the respective authority to take action or clarify it on good terms.

Image Credit / Source: Malaysiakini , Damai Disabled Person Association Malaysia