Vietnam metro launches free taxi service for the disabled

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The nongovernmental organization Disability Resource and Development (DRD) has launched a pilot project that provides free motorbike taxi service for disabled people in Ho Chi Minh City.

The project, which includes a hotline (0935.244.123) was launched on June 27.

DRD director Vo Thi Hoang Yen said the city's disabled residents are lacking in opportunities to involve themselves in various social activities due for a multiplicity of reasons, including limited access to public transportation.

"The motorbike taxi service offers an opportunity for them to overcome this barrier and access education, employment and other activities to improve themselves and contribute to society."

Yen, who is disabled herself, is widely known for her strong will. She earned an M.A. in human development at the University of Kansas and now lectures at the HCMC Open University. A fever when she was three years old left one of her legs paralyzed and seriously affected the other.

"Disabled people are no different than other members of society in terms of basic needs like employment, education, social activities, entertainment, etc. They have the right to live a worthwhile life and be treated with respect," she said.

Under the project, three-wheelers specifically designed for the disabled will be used.

Drivers who know the city streets well, including those who are disabled, will be hired to take part in the project, DRD said in a statement.

The project is part of DRD's series of actions to support the disabled launched early this year and which receive support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Korean Able Forum.

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